Reassessing Mahathir

September 28, 2016

COMMENT: We Malaysians must be a bunch of sentimental fools and free riders. It speaks volumes of who we are that we have to depend on a 92-year old politician to bring about change. In the first place, he created this situation by removing all his rivals like Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Tun Musa Hitam and Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim in UMNO, and second by dismantling our system of checks and balances to create a powerful Executive Branch.

Image result for Din Merican

It surprises me to read this piece from Mariam Mokhtar who I thought was a critic of everything Mahathir stood for. She is mistaken to think that the man will change our political landscape. He is not a Renaissance man. He is an old school politician through and through.

I hold him accountable for what he has done to our country during 22 years of his rule. Mariam mentions his Look East Policy. Well, that policy which was initiated by the LDP in Japan, and later rejected after the Asian Financial Crisis of 1988 by the Japanese people, is crony capitalism. UMNO run by Najib Razak today is a party of crony capitalists and kleptocrats.

Mahathir now advocates good governance and the Rule of Law, yet when he was in power, he destroyed our institutions including the Judiciary. The system sucks and there is no leader with the character and integrity to lead us out of the rut at this time. We are condemned to stay in a state of moral crisis for some time to come.–Din Merican

Reassessing Mahathir

by Mariam Mokhtar

Image result for Din Merican

Everyone knows that former PM Mahathir Mohamad’s alignment with the opposition is the result of his failure to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak on his own steam. You may call it a desperate move, or you may call it daft. But does the rakyat have a choice?

With Malaysia in deep crisis, and the opposition’s failure to stand united, could Mahathir be our saviour?

At his recent talk in London, he said, “There is common interest between me and Anwar Ibrahim. He appreciates that the problem of the country is the PM, that he should be removed.”

He criticised Najib’s alleged lack of vision, saying, “This PM regards high income as a sign that we are developed. High income must be accompanied by high productivity. Or else we will price ourselves out of the market.

“He has revised the pay scale several times. The operating cost of the government is so big that there is not enough money left for development.


For the economy to grow, you must have the rule of law. You must have good governance.–Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

“It is not about money alone. It is about the quality of life in Malaysia – better education, a higher standard of living and people doing research work. These are what would make a developed country. If we go by income alone, then Saudi Arabia would be a developed country.”

He called on concerned Malaysians to join the opposition “if you wish to help us overthrow this government.”

On encouraging foreign investment, he said Malaysia needed to create an environment conducive to business. “For the economy to grow, you must have the rule of law. You must have good governance.”

He reminded us that under his rule, the concept of Malaysia Incorporated was used to treat the whole nation as one big company, and added, “It is important not to abuse power” and to fight corruption.

When asked if he was untouchable, he said, “My coming here to talk is not something which the government likes. Every time I say the wrong thing, the police question me. Desperate people do desperate things.”

Not everyone is a fan of Mahathir, but Malaysians are hungry for change and many are prepared to listen to his message.

One man said, “I was sceptical at first. But I have noticed that over several months, he has given major concessions. For instance, although at first he only wanted to see Najib ousted, he said at a recent talk that Umno-Baru must be destroyed.”

Another Mahathir sceptic said, “I came with an open mind. I admit that I am not his fan but when he spoke, I thought he made a lot of sense. I found myself nodding in agreement to most of the things he said.”

Addressing the question of a candidate for PM, Mahathir said, “It is for the people to decide.” Referring to his son Mukhriz, he said, “If he can be popular enough to win elections and become PM, that is his right.”

The statement was met with applause. Was it for Mukhriz or was it for Mahathir’s magnanimity?

20 thoughts on “Reassessing Mahathir

  1. Mahathir has a personal agenda which he is not sharing with others. He’s using the excuse to save Malaysia and get rid of Najib to further his hidden agenda. Unless he comes clean on his actions of dismantling checks and balances during hia 22 years as PM we should all doubt his reason for saving Malaysia.

  2. Suppose Dr M makes a deal with the rest of the Opposition and agrees that Anwar Ibrahim should be released from prison and should become the PM (in return for Anwar Ibrahim not prosecuting him for his past misdeeds), what then?

    (Anything is possible in politics ! Note the deal between Nelson Mandela and PW Botha that resulted in a relatively peaceful transition to democracy in South Africa).

    DSAI would be remembered as a great leader of Malaysia if the above happens.

  3. Make a study of the time line and people involves in the privatization of infrastructure projects in Malaysia since 1990.

  4. Many see Octo as a chameleon, nowadays.
    Fewer see him as a dangerous/evil skin-changer or shape-shifter like all those myths of yore – like a werewolf, wendigo, aswang, kelpie etc..

    I say he’s the consummate pragmatist who made terrible decisions in the face of plenty. Power was all he aspired for and once he acquired the requisite amount, he consolidated it irregardless of the consequences. In cut-throat politics since the dawn of civilization, could he have done any less?

    It is easy to denigrate him now – but he was not as mercurial as Anwar nor plodding as many of his peers. His intellectual abilities was the product of his environment and he used everyone around him to his advantage. He was not a sociopath nor was he narcissistic, like what we have today. But he was a bad Businessman.

    As to his intentions at this point in time, i wish him god-speed. Let it play out. None of us here have reached the pinnacle of his Power – so who are we to judge the future? Would we make the same mistakes as he? I can’t really say..

    As Gandhi Ji said:
    “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is an attribute of the strong.”

    So let us not grumble to our graves. Remember the Banality of Evil? We have all participated in it sometime or other.

  5. Change? What Change is there when Bersatu in ideology is a broken UMNO and the proposed opposition alliance is identical in setup as per BN? As per the comment as there is no successor leadership from the UMNO created by Tun M, I get depress to see how DSAI does his line-up when he is away. Perhaps, we could say the same for DAP also. @BraveNewWorld would not stand a chance in PK. We are just switching from one TV to another TV set but still watching the same TV show. Else, I really appreciate what Tun M is doing. Tun M is willing to change more than most ‘cari-makan’ UMNO loyalists.

    Change? Yes. But, more. We can no longer not afford to not change ‘More’!

  6. Best describe our attitude – Voluntary Servitude. Most Malaysians.

    Not being adequately eloquent, I will like to borrow something from Wikipedia ..

    Lew Rockwell summarizes La Boétie’s political philosophy as follows:

    To him, the great mystery of politics was obedience to rulers. Why in the world do people agree to be looted and otherwise oppressed by government overlords? It is not just fear, Boetie explains in “The Discourse on Voluntary Servitude,” for our consent is required. And that consent can be non-violently withdrawn.[2]

  7. “Desperate people do desperate things.”

    The irony of Dr. Mahathir having said that is similar to a man shooting his ownself at his foot.

  8. He speaks of the problems and issue we agree with him BUT his prescription is Muhiyiddin? Even his son is disqualified on merit like it or not. If he truly wants a cure, then it has to at the likes of Rafizi Ramli, Nazmi and even if Anwar to him is disqualified,Nurul Izzah before anyone from his UMNO.

  9. We need to be clear about whether we support a person or his actions. TDM’s actions now should be supported. This is not to be construed as support for him, which is irrelevant because he is not standing for office.

    True, he is not standing for political office. You and I know the man.He wants to wield influence behind the man who will be the next man with power.He hopes that the person will be his son, Mukhriz,who does not have it in him to lead our country. –Din Merican

  10. Politicians are intrinsically bad, given their power over the people and their inherent greed. The saying “the only good politician is a dead politician” is sounding very true.

  11. support bigjoe99 comments fully. Let the vision and energy of youth for once be given a chance to leadership. say not they are too inexperienced. they have all the intellectual capacity to show a better way. As Din mentioned it will be pathetic to depend on the old band of geriatric men with huge baggage’s, including those from the opposition, to lead the country to salvation.

  12. I personally feel that Mukhriz will make a good PM, given space and time. Although he’s the spawn of Octo – he’s very much his own man.

    All this talk about PKRs’ chico leaders is just that – infantile yearnings – as none of them have Gravitas, Experience nor the Ethos. It’s all smoke and shadows. Neither is it a generational thing. No accountants as PM, please.

    Look beyond the public persona and propaganda.

    As to the choice between MY and Anwar – in practicality and legal terms, it’s MY for the interim. Anyone else, doesn’t have what it takes, nor the experience dealing with the inbred rent-seeking and entitlement. Not to say that Others don’t have the capacity/ability – it’s Reality that counts.

    Tok Pa is quite okay, except his seed bag lacks content and can only play in a team. No others from the highly compromised and contemptuous UMNOb.

    All you alternate universe chaps may migrate to another asynchronous orbit.

  13. With the “suggestion” by Mahathir of having Muyhiddin as the PM after Najib, and himself as Chairman of a “council” of Bersatu people from whom Muyhiddin / or any one else must “consult” when formulating government / political policies, we are seeing the “privatization” of the office of the prime minister of Malaysia, just like the breakneck privatization programs during his actual premiership.

    This is where I agree with Najib, i.e., that the PM must be his own man for if he bungles the job or worse commits crimes he has only himself to blame and be punished for it, as Najib surely will in due course. If we have a PM who must listen to a “Chairman” and his “council”, then who do we specifically pin blame on and mete out punishment to, the PM plus the Chairman and the whole council?

    This is why I say it will be a “privatization” as the government of the day becomes a company where the CEO is answerable to the Board of Directors some of whom may not even be elected by the people, whereas in the PM’s Cabinet, the ministers are answerable to the PM, and all of them including the PM are answerable to Parliament who in turn is answerable to the people. This is what we should strive and in some instances die for. Once Mahathir’s idea is implemented, democracy becomes truly a farce for the people will choose the PM through the party his leads only for the PM to be controlled by a Chairman and his council who are the ultimate holders of power.

    Then we may as well choose the Chairman as the PM and the council as the cabinet, no need for this rule-by-proxy in disguise which is what Mahathir really, really want whoever the PM is. If it happens to be Mukhriz, then not only do we have privatization, we also have it run like a family run business.

    Finally, we see Singapore’s softly, softly approach to 1MDB is because the last thing Singapore wants is a Malaysian government controlled by Mahathir who will see to it that the cozy Najib / Hsien Loong ties be demonized and all programs rolled back or suspended. The High-Speed Rail will come to a screeching halt.

    But then Najib is so bad that Mahathir actually looks palatable in comparison.

  14. A living leopard never can change its spots, unless it’s gene is targeted, spliced, replaced or altered. The gene is, the deeply embedded culture and characteristics of MACCP,(Money politics, Abuse of power, Corruptions,Cronysm and Puppetry), in almost each and every leader of Umno Baru.
    That is not happening.

    For 22 years TDM, had been largely responsible for sowing the seeds of MACCP and tendered its proliferations. He had left behind, a divided country WITHOUT quality leaders; a crooked judiciary, a damaged education system – a country still harboring on racial and religious tensions , altogether, have hindered or disenabled the Monarchy Westminster Parliamentary System and the country’s Delivery System, that had mainly led the country to this Dire state of affairs.

    There were notable developments and progress in parts, but they were at the extra-enormous politic, social and economic (financial) expense to the country’s natural resources and cost to the people, where hundreds of billions( in trillion by today’s value) were lost,squandered or unaccounted for.

    …That had leads to some UNANSWERED questions repeatedly asked of the leaders (political or otherwise) by the people:

    +++ How they had acquired the hundreds of millions,billion or billions of UNEXPLAINED wealth?

    +++ Where?
    +++ When?

    ..+++ and for Whose benefits???

    These are the ” magnanimous” questions the author should have also asked for (re)assessments.

    Trust and Sincerity in Action matters most.

  15. Those questions posted above are of public interests, because it will show what in politics and humanity these leaders value most.

    Perhaps, RPK and or the main stream e or print media would be more effective in getting responses and answers to these questions from the political leaders, when posted.

  16. ” …… could Mahathir be our saviour ? ” – Mariam

    Mariam is joining the silly club which now includes Lim Kit Siang, Ambiga, Bersih and all the others who have decided to join up with this moron to oust the crook who is the sitting PM.

    This man whom Mariam is touting as a saviour screwed the constitution rather willfully for his own and his associates gain. For a multi racial country like ours, the constitution as it was , was very important. This man wrecked it . So how come he is now a saviour? He is no more then an ass.

    The incumbent crook looks like a saint.And if from all this , a saviour emerges, it has to be Tony Fernandez or Jeffery Kitingan. It can’t be this ass nor this sitting crook.

  17. WE have lost nearly 40 years because the wise men did not do at the beginning what the not so wise man does at the end.

  18. Perhaps, it is time now to be ‘kiasu’. CLF, Conrad, and Dr Bakri seems to be in the know. Time is to support Mukhriz now, so that perhaps I could retire in Malaysia. But, that is if I could only be less ‘kiasi’. A sinking ship UMNOb may seem to be. But, they are still in power today.

    After all, I am merely a pendatang Kristian Cina.
    But, hey, if I am truly a pendatang … why do I care if Layu-layu Melayu.
    The more layu Melayu the better, since the richer elites got more to loose.

    Tun M, please reassess this. Islam first, Malaysia second, I can accept. Melayu first, Malaysia second? That is the exact reason why the Melayu Layu today. It will continue to do so until the nation hilang kat dunia.

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