Din Merican on Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (in 2015)

June 22, 2018

Din Merican on Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (in 2015)

Image result for Din Merican and Dr Mahathir

This was what in I wrote in 2015 (below). Today, he is back in power as our 7th Prime Minister after defeating his mentee, Najib Razak, in the May 9, 2018 General Election. That is remarkable achievement for Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. He will no doubt use his power to get things done. But I trust Tun will have also learned lessons from his first premiership. More than anything else, I want him to succeed  to make the new Malaysia. For his own sake, for Malaysia’s sake and for History.–Din Merican

Din Merican : Mahathir learning his Lessons the Hard Way!


Image result for Din Merican and Dr Mahathir

Tun Dr. Mahathir’s successors, Abdullah Badawi and Najib Razak, were mediorce, inept and incompetent. Najib Razak achieved the distinction of being the most corrupt Prime Minister in Malaysia’s history. His 1Malaysia concept was a con job while Badawi’s Islam Hadhari was a political gimmick.

COMMENT: Tun Dr. Mahathir is learning his lessons the hard way. I recall some years ago at a luncheon speech he gave at a function organised by MIGHT (a government unit in the Prime Minister’s Department) which he created to spearhead technology and innovation, he said that he needed power because he wanted to get things done. Indeed, he got a lot of things done.

By sheer determination and ruthlessness, he broke barriers along the way  to become the most powerful Prime Minister in our country’s history. He was the top honcho who could not be questioned or challenged. Woe betide those who dare. Anwar Ibrahim can attest to that fact.

The good Bomoh, as his close associates would label him, knew it all. He had a cure for everything from pins and paper clips to The Malay Dilemma and Vision 2020. As a man in a hurry, he would not tolerate contrarian or dissenting views. He had no time for small talk. You were for or against him.

How was he able to cling to power for 22+ years? He achieved his goal by amending the constitution to create a powerful Executive Branch, subjugating all institutions of governance including Parliament, the Judiciary and the civil service and creating a culture of fear and intimidation. He answered to no one. Malaysia was his fiefdom.

Recall Ops Lalang (1987), the indignities suffered by Lord President Tun Salleh Abas (1988) and the removal of Tun Musa Hitam and Tengku Razaleigh  Hamzah. He also created UMNO Baru with a powerful UMNO President who could not be challenged so that he could remain in power for as long as he pleased.

Today, at 90 years, he is a tragic figure seeking to remain relevant and yet trapped in a system of his own making. There is nothing he can do now. His fight to remove Najib Razak from office has failed because his erstwhile mentee has the power while he is just an ordinary citizen like you and I acting singlehandedly without much influence on the course of Malaysian politics. We can make all the noises we want–we must continue to do that– but we must accept the reality that unless UMNO acts, Prime Minister Najib remains in power.

Our options are limited. Even a smoking gun like the rm2.6 billion scandal can be brushed aside by the new Attorney-General, Apandi Ali and others.  Yes, indeed, what goes around comes around. Power is not permanent, and usually it comes at a price. Allow me to quote William Shakespeare.–Din Merican

They That Have Power to Hurt and Will Do None
By William Shakespeare (1564–1616)

THEY that have power to hurt and will do none,
That do not do the thing they most do show,
Who, moving others, are themselves as stone,
Unmoved, cold, and to temptation slow,
They rightly do inherit heaven’s graces
And husband Nature’s riches from expense:
They are the lords and owners of their faces,
Others but stewards of their excellence.


The summer’s flower is to the summer sweet,
Though to itself it only live and die,
But if that flower with base infection meet,
The basest weed out braves his dignity:
For sweetest things turn sourest by their deeds;
Lilies that fester smell far worse than weeds.

4 thoughts on “Din Merican on Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (in 2015)

  1. A lot of people do not remember but before Tunku passed away, Mahathir actually admitted that Tunku was wiser than he was. Mahathir tried to see Tunku before his death but Tunku never forgave Mahathir, did not believed Mahathir’s later homage to Tunku because he did not see any change in Mahathir’s policy..

    By joining with PH, Mahathir proved he is ultimately a patriot that he meant what he said about Tunku..He really does think Tunku was wiser even though Mahathir was the real change agent for the Malays. Even in his campaign back to power, Mahathir made video that said “he had to correct his mistake”..

    Still, Mahathir shows signs he retains some old ideas – Proton 2.0, appointments like Ghani, accepting ex-UMNO leaders.

    Perhaps the “new Malaysia” is too demanding of Mahathir 2.0 BUT its best never to rely on old leaders no matter how great they have been. Mahathir is not going to be much of a factor in GE-15. Its time to think who will be front and center then..Hadi’s PAS may be the clearest one then..

    • If we were pessimists, we would expect to see a nation going into another Trillion more in debt 2 years down the road, with more money pouring into failed attempts of doing more Trx, Proton, MAS, HSR, and lynas.
      But, we are not. Thus, the writings, hoping that Tun, DSAI or even KJ would change. Yet, things won’t change, unless there is a change in malapportionment. Tony Pua who represents the most will of all MPs is not even given a seat in the new cabinet, not to mention any possibility of him being the next DAP leader. We would merely continue to layu to a world which Najib Razak would be our next PM. It is still as likely as it has always been, as DSAI being our next PM has always been there. Hopefully, we will just get a few more pleasant surprises here or there when we would get a DPM who truly captures the nation’s heart. It is disappointing to know that even elders’ report would take so long to get published, and it needs approval from Tun before it gets known to the public. What has changed? Regressing from GST to SST when it only benefits the rich more? I guess no MOF nor Economics Minister would understand why a few would suggest SST is regressive as compared to GST.
      What is our Harapan? A mere place so that our grievance would not get censored? I pray as Jakim continues to have as much freedom as Dato Din today, in spite of the fact they still get paid, though Dato does not. Harapan for Bumi? None.. not at all, unless there is Harapan for nonBumi.

  2. Din yr 2015 comments are spot on. You are a modern sage. Dr. M & PR coalition govt. should never forget that M’sia is a multi cultural & multi religious country. Hence, Article 8 of our constitution should be religiously adhered too when formulating public policy & making Cabinet level & other senior appointments. Meritocracy, proven track record, transparency, liberalism & moderation should be bottom line. Tokenism & unqualified persons should not be appointed.

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