The Keruak has spoken: Government will block portals and websites–1MDB is fake news

March 23, 2018

The Keruak has spoken: Government will block portals and websites–1MDB is fake news

The Keruak has spoken but he conveniently forgets that the regime he serves is Malaysia’s No.1 dispenser of fake news. The authorities in Singapore, Switzerland and the United States are fakers on 1MDB?

The government will block websites and portals that spread information with the intent of causing a ruckus before the 14th general election (GE14), Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak said.

“We will work with the police and relevant agencies on the allegations. Of course, action will be taken against any party that violates the rules,” he is quoted as saying by Bernama.

Salleh said this after being asked about Police identifying 1,100 individuals and organisations that could potentially conduct a ‘surprise last minute attack’ and start a riot during GE14.

He said his ministry would conduct a thorough investigation before any action was taken.The government is set to table an anti-fake news bill in Parliament next week.

Salleh’s Deputy, Jailani Johari, told the Dewan Rakyat yesterday that any unverified information regarding 1MDB was considered fake news.

Previously Jailani had also said that media publishing “fake news” about 1MDB included The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Economist, Australian Broadcast Corporation (ABC) and MSNBC.



Women, Politics and Online Abuse

March 13, 2018

Women, Politics and Online Abuse

by S.

“What needs to be addressed is how government-sanctioned platforms that could have been used to preach tolerance, love and respect are instead being used to spread evil gospels that preach hatred and overzealous bigotry.”
– Syerleena Abdul Rashid

COMMENT | The online abuse against DAP’s Syerleena Abdul Rashid is typical of the mob mentality of those who attack someone like Maryam Lee or anyone else that goes against the groupthink that certain quarters feel the need of defending.

When Gerakan’s Raja Sara Petra got into a skirmish with DAP’s Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud of DAP a couple of years back, the online abuse she faced was horrific, considering the issue in contention was claims made by Dyana of how Umno had “cheated the Malays.”

While the mob mentality of the opposition revolves around specific narratives, that of establishment partisans usually centres on the role of race and religion and how opposition operatives, either political or social, are eschewing their traditional roles.

Image result for azalina osman said

If you read some of the comments whenever someone like UMNO’s Azalina Othman Said, for instance, says anything, and contrast this with the comments received by opposition operatives like Syerleena, both display a level of misogyny that ironically opposition supporters do not see or seem to understand.

Women who participate in politics from both sides of the political divide tell me that the level of abuse they receive online is far worse than the men, who more or less say the same thing. We are talking about a specific type of hate here.

When opposition women receive abuse from certain quarters of the online community, there are outpourings of sympathy, but when it comes to pro-establishment women, they are reminded that not to expect any sympathy when they put themselves in the position of being “criticised.”

Rational discourse impossible

And if you are a Muslim woman, it is very much worse. Last year the BBC ran an article titled “The online abuse hurled at Malaysia’s Muslim women,” which included quotes from not only Dyana (photo), but also Maryam.

It begins with this, and just gets more depressing: “‘We are seeing a trend where Muslim women (particularly Malay-Muslims) are targeted in a different way, especially when it comes to how they present themselves,’ says Juana Jaafar, a women’s rights advocate who followed the case of the 15-year-old girl. Juana says the attacks became so brutal for the girl, she was forced to delete her account and seek help offline.”

The problem with all this online abuse, either from establishment or opposition partisans, is that it makes rational discourse impossible. Especially when it comes to reforming a religion or challenging the status quo, women, more often than not – especially those who are Muslim – are at the forefront.

Either conservative or liberal, Muslim women are targets for what they say by anonymous cretins, who have no problem spewing racial or religious filth and smugly thinking that are on the “right” side.

When someone like Syerleena criticises the religious institutions which have a profound impact on the lives of Muslims in this country, it is a broader criticism on religious institutions who are do not have the ability to sanction adherents, but which operate on a different level.

For example, I know of many women who self-identify as Hindu or Christian who have been on the receiving end of online and real-life abuse from their communities, because their activism challenges the status quo when it comes to the respective religion and cultures.

As more women participate in the political and religious process of this country, the more opportunities for online and real life abuse they face. Many political operatives in the opposition, for instance, have found themselves on the receiving end of state-sponsored online abuse.

I say state-sponsored because inevitably the fight against the patriarchy here in Malaysia revolves around the state-sponsored religion, which is used as a tool to enforce compliance and obedience in the Malay polity, with the state security apparatus having very little interest in carrying out their obligations towards women they deem are bringing shame to their culture and religion.

Lure of power

It is a good thing that Hindu, Christian and Buddhist religious institutions do not have the same power of the state when it comes to enforcing dogma, or it would be even worse. Can you imagine if the other religions enjoyed the privileges of the state as Islam does?

Seriously, can you imagine being under the watchful gaze of religious departments or religious police and having to be wary of your fellow countrymen who watch your every move and see nothing wrong in telling you that you are going against religion and culture. Can you imagine living like that every single day of your life?

If you have this power, especially of men over women, would you want to give it up? The state and its religious bureaucrats, certainly do not want to. The simmering tensions of what I refer to as the deep Islamic state certainly despises women and men who choose to go against the patriarchy.

I am encouraged that the opposition at least makes an attempt to tackle these issues. The opposition should have a clear strategy when it comes to women’s issues in this country. After all, if I am not mistaken, Muslim women are a big demographic when it comes to the education in this country, meaning there are more women in educational establishments, and thus are fertile ground to mine for votes and change mindsets, while the men in their community don their red shirts and fight the yellow peril.

Indeed, the women’s vote could be a major voting block for opposition operatives already operating under the restrictions and electoral legerdemain of the state.

To be honest, I am sick and tired of hearing how Muslim political operatives either defend the status quo or waffle on about how we need to respect religious differences.

I end this piece with an excerpt from an article by DAP’s Yeo Bee Yin last year about the patriarchy and the rape culture in Malaysia – “Deep down, at the core of UMNO’s Shabudin Yahaya’s ‘marrying the rapist’ and ‘nine-year-old can wed’ notions, are not only his personal perversion but also the manifestation of the deep-rooted patriarchy in Malaysian society.”


S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

The Rule of Law is a Joke in Malaysia

March 5, 2018

The Rule of Law is a Joke in Malaysia

by S.

Those who corrupt the public mind are just as evil as those who steal from the public purse.”

– Adlai Stevenson

Image result for Bullshit Najib RazakMalaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak is Above the Law


COMMENT | Are Malaysians experiencing a 1MDB fatigue? I think Pakatan Harapan supporters are experiencing it but the demographic that props up UMNO is feeling crappy about a whole range of issues and 1MDB is not one of them. All these foreign reports about the ongoing case of perhaps the biggest kleptocracy incident in the world mean nothing to the people who sustain UMNO.

It goes without saying that this kind of sucks. I mean, people think it is business as usual when the Australian Police freezes the account of a high-level state security officer on suspicion of money laundering or proceeds of a crime. Bukit Aman Criminal Investigation Department Director Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd denies wrongdoing, but claims that it would be too expensive for a court action to retrieve the money.

Image result for r Wan Ahmad Najmuddin Mohd

The Face of a Corrupt Malaysian Police Officer

If the monies were bribes of some kind, who paid him? What were they getting in return? Beyond his allegedly guilty actions and the non-consequences he faces here, what kind of consequences would the country face by the hands of the people who (allegedly) put money in his bank account?

Crime? Terrorism? Who knows? Certainly not our state security apparatus which considers the matter closed. Certainly not establishment politicians who probably are worried about their own accounts all over the world. I would add opposition politicians but the state seems more interested in discovering their alleged criminal wrongdoings then their overlords in Putrajaya. And while their minions are fair game, essentially the protected Umno class is safe for the time being.

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Najib Razak’s Horndog Nur Jazlan Mohamed with the Most Corrupt Prime Minister

Deputy Home Minister Nur Jazlan Mohamed wonders why Australia is trying to “embarrass” Malaysia as if the act absolves the person from the criminality or whatever else the embarrassed party is attempting to hide. These kinds of statements want to make me vote against the Umno hegemon just for spite.

Indonesia seizes Jho Low’s superyacht, Singapore seizes Jho Low’s private jet and everyone thinks, that this is it. This is the smoking gun. However foreign powers have their own crimes to hide, their own banking institutions to protect, so small fish are roasted over the fire of international opprobrium while the game goes on. Putrajaya knows this. They understand deals can be made, which is why the old maverick bemoans the fact that we are slaves to foreign powers.

Opposition political operatives call and tell me that this 1MDB issue is not gaining traction with the demographic that sustains UMNO. “They do not understand the issues involved,” they decry. They do not understand? On the best of days, I barely understand it and I was a practicing lawyer. Going about chanting 1MDB and expecting people to choke on their outrage and decide to vote for you is not going to work.

It boggles the mind that they are politicians when they complain that certain issues distracts from the whole 1MDB scandal. Well yeah, but if the 1MDB scandal is not gaining traction maybe you should discover issues that does gain traction with the people whose votes you want. The most important thing is realising that the 1MDB scandal is not the single issue which will bring down the current regime.

1MDB is big city stuff

Do not get me wrong, corruption is a major issue but I think sometimes, the strategists within Harapan conflate online chatter with the real life. Corruption does not solely have to be about the biggest case of kleptocracy the world is witness to. There are enough cases of corruption that have a direct, profound impact on local polities that would ensure that the current regime is benched.

I absolutely love it when the opposition highlights cases that demonstrate where the government has screwed the demographic that sustains them and let us face facts, with the FELDA case for instance, there were immediate and still ongoing consequences for the UMNO establishment and the opposition has gained points with the people whose votes matters most.

Anecdotally speaking, when young Malay voters write to me, they more often than not speak to me about the FELDA fiasco and the Tabung Haji fiascos and how the opposition “did good” and rarely about the 1MDB case which just confuses them.


Get this straight. Malaysia is not made up of people with pitchforks chanting 1MDB and hoping for regime change, simply to dispose of a kleptocratic regime. Is there dissatisfaction that the opposition can capitalise on? Yes, there is but the opposition needs to recalibrate their narratives to get people to vote for them. They cannot whine and stomp their feet that people are unwilling to see that 1MDB is the baddest thing to happen to this country. While it may be the biggest case of its kind, the reality is that Malaysia was a failing state way before the current bunch of kleptocrats took over.

Some folks have asked me, why I do not care about gerrymandering and other kinds of electoral legerdemain. It is not that I do not care but rather because I know if opposition politicians grab the peoples’ interest, waves of voters supportive of them will overcome any breaches of electoral malfeasance. The more people you convince to vote for you, the less effective the dirty electoral tricks of the establishment.

My advice is always stay local. 1MDB is big city stuff. That is realpolitik. UMNO knows this, which is why they play offence when it comes to this issue. What Harapan should be doing is dredging up state-level corruption. The goal is to get UMNO to drain its war chest by attempting to put out fires started by local oppositional operatives screaming blue murder about state-level corruption. There is only so much money and the UMNO state cannot be everywhere.


If local, state-level, village-level, corruption where bandied about in concert with the 1MDB fiasco, UMNO would have no choice but to get on the ground and deviate from the standard propaganda they shovel out by the buckets loads. They would have to engage with the opposition which are relatively “clean”.

For years, UMNO has never addressed these issues because the opposition were intent on not deviating from their own scripts which plays well with urban and semi-urban audiences but is ineffective with the demographic that sustains UMNO.

As I said, “corruption” does not have to be solely about 1MDB. While foreign powers will extract their pound of flesh for the sins of 1MDB, the only people who will hold this regime accountable for corruption is the voting public of Malaysia. The trick is not thinking that 1MDB is the greatest con perpetrated on the people of Malaysia.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

The compromised loyalty of Civil Service and Armed Forces

February 28,2018

The compromised loyalty of Civil Service and Armed Forces

by S.Thayaparan


“Men are not corrupted by the exercise of power, or debased by the habit of obedience; but by the exercise of a power which they believe to be illegitimate, and by obedience to a rule which they consider to be usurped and oppressive.”

– Alexis de Tocqueville

COMMENT | Malaysiakini columnist Mariam Mokhtar wrote a great piece about the narratives of the state of defending “bangsa” and “agama”. I just want to hone in on this paragraph – “Those in the civil service, the police and the armed forces are mostly Malay. The cabinet members, the GLC bosses and the heads of government departments are mostly Malay. The majority of Malays benefit from educational scholarships, affordable home purchases, business funding, or petrol station operating licences.”

Image result for mariam mokhtar and mahathir

Social Activist and Political Analyst Mariam Mokhtar

This brings us to Public Service Department director-general Zainal Rahim’s rejoinder to the civil service to remain “loyal” to the government and Perlis Menteri Besar Azlan Man chastising retired armed forces personnel for “opposing” the government. Both political statements are because loyalty is not derived so much from any qualitative benefits that the government provides, but rather based on race.

While non-Malays have to put up with Malay potentates who live off their taxes but constantly remind them to be grateful, the majority of the Malay polity are constantly reminded that they need the government and hence have to remain loyal to the dominant Malay power structure. A power structure which through social engineering and economic banditry has ensured that the feudalistic system remains intact even if the idea of a constitutional monarchy has been chipped away over the years by the UMNO hegemon, the latest being the National Security Council (NSC) Act.

Let us not kid ourselves. There is a big difference between the propaganda aimed at the non-Malays and for the non-Malays, and the propaganda for the Malay community and against those Malays who are seen as rebelling against Umno rule. Senior Malay civil servants, retired or still serving, can tell you comical stories of how the establishment attempts to ensure compliance. This, of course, goes back to the days of the old maverick.

While high-ranking (thinking) armed forces personnel, who have had the benefit of tutelage under now-retired servicemen, cringe at the moronic displays of vote-getting by the establishment, there are far too many retired armed forces personnel who benefit from the largess of UMNO.

This is why when patriots like Brigadier-General (Rtd) Arshad Raji points out the corruption and inequalities of the system (based on) years of service, the UMNO hegemon is taken aback. Not only has he been on the receiving end of scurrilous attacks on his reputation, he has always been on the receiving end of the right-wing Malay intelligentsia who view the armed forces as the armed wing of a ruling party.

If you were to talk to the average wage earner in the civil service or the armed forces, you would understand that even with all the “benefits” they receive, they are still struggling.

Here is a prime example of how the government spends so much on “defence” but what the armed forces get is “third world facilities” and mockery from international military organisation they serve with – “Former army deputy chief Lt-Gen (Rtd) Abdul Ghafir Abdul Hamid said today the military camps were like ‘Third World facilities’ that have not been maintained and ‘when the men are asked to serve overseas, they are mocked by the international forces’.”

And this was just five years ago. Does anyone really think that things have improved?

Now some folks may wonder that if the wage earners of the state are struggling, what more the average citizen – Malay and non-Malay – who do not have the safety net provided by the state? If you are non-Malay, you pay double when it comes to not having a security blanket.

A shift in voting patterns?

While the opposition rightly worries about the armed forces postal votes and military base votes are suspect – that old Stalin rejoinder of the people counting the votes are more important than the ones casting their votes – the reality is that there are many people, those who have left the armed forces or are in the process of leaving, who understand that there is something very wrong with the way how this country is governed.

Mind you, they are not too concerned about all those fancy principles that opposition political parties like to throw about but what they do understand is that their lives are affected by the way how this country is run and no amount of pandering to race and religion can alleviate their problems.

The same applies to the civil service. One mid-level bureaucrat was pissed off that the MACC was going after small fish when the sharks were allowed to feed from the trough without any action from the state. This, of course, was unfair to the “average” corrupt small fish but was also demoralising to those civil servants who actually wanted to do their job.

Furthermore, when political loyalties are based on the petty fiefdoms aligned to greater power structures, the harassment of individuals deemed unfriendly to the current regime and thus ripe for targeting has agitated whole sections of the civil service waiting to express their disdain at the ballot box or are sympathetic to opposition political personalities wanting dirt on the current government. All this has created a toxic atmosphere in the civil service, with people questioning loyalties and allegiances.

This is not to say that race and religion are not a factor when it comes to the Malay vote, only that the opposition may not have as much to fear when it comes to the civil service and armed forces votes. While the average citizen may still be prey to the gung-ho nationalism of UMNO, those within the bureaucracy, which is an important voting bloc, may just surprise the Umno state.

This is the reason why the UMNO hegemon is busy reminding Malays in the Civil Service and the Armed Rorces that they should be loyal to the government. This is why a whole range of initiatives are mooted to dissuade the civil service from voting for anyone other than UMNO.

However, all these promises amount to a hill of beans because if anything, while the standard of the civil service has improved over the years, the agitation brought by the class dialectic of the opposition, the religious propaganda of PAS and the split in the Malay vote, has made traditional vote banks open to opposition intrusion.

I, for one, would not be surprised if there were a shift in voting patterns in the civil service and retired armed forces personnel.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

Living in a Time of Deception: Look Back on Malayan History


February 26, 2018

Living in a Time of Deception: Look Back on Malayan History

by Maryam Lee

Image result for Poh Soo Kai

COMMENT | “So colonialism is about how brown people suffered and died for the ambitions of white men?”

I asked him. Dr Poh Soo Kai replied, “Not necessarily, it’s not about the skin colour, you see. The Japanese were not white, they also colonised us.”

Colonialism is an attitude, it is a way of thinking. It is the imperial mentality that people under imperialism deserve to be subjugated simply because they are not born of the “superior” race.

I spent a lot of time in early February listening to stories of transnational activism, before and after the Japanese occupation in South-east Asia, from the man himself, Dr Poh Soo Kai. Socialist activist, political prisoner, now the author of “Singapore: Living in a Time of Deception”.

His book has been translated to Indonesian by one of the local publishers, Ultimus, and the launching of the book was done in one of my favourite cities of culture and activism, Yogyakarta.

Poh shared many stories. When we went to the beach for lunch, Poh told stories of what Soekarno did to the communists in Indonesia (Madium 1948), and how the communists supported Soekarno anyway, when he nationalised Indonesian assets to piss off the Dutch.

And then stories of Malayan communists. Led by Loi Teck, who was a Vietnamese, the communists brokered an agreement with the British in return for recognition of the Malayan Communist Party in the new parliamentary democracy Malaya was supposed to adopt upon independence.

When the British left, the Malayan communists had fought the Japanese to gain independence. When the war was over, there was a dilemma, whether or not to continue the fight, since the British came back to secure Malaya again.

The British made an agreement with Loi Teck, under which they recognised the MCP for a ceasefire of the arms struggle that would resist the British’s return.

Ahmad Boestamam and other members of the Persatuan Kebangsaan Melayu Malaya (PKMM), the anti-colonial party set up after the Japanese occupation, refused to lay down arms and wanted to continue the arms struggle for independence.

Unfortunately, PKMM could not fight without the communists. So when they laid down arms, as per Loi Teck’s instructions, the left had no choice but to discontinue the arms struggle.

Shortly after surrendering their arms, Loi Teck disappeared with MCP’s money. They looked for him, but according to Chin Peng (on right in photo), the Thai communists found and killed him because he resisted arrest. It was later known that Loi Teck was a double agent that had double-crossed his own comrades for his own personal gains.

Image result for Chin Peng and Louis Mountbatten

British needed the distraction

Why the British had been so “nice” to the communists in Malaya was because they had to hold down the ports in Indonesia for the Dutch. The British Indian Army was sent all over Indonesia where there were uprisings, largely to Surabaya and Bandung, before the Dutch were strong enough to come back.

In the meantime, the British, who were not strong enough to fight the Malayan communists, had to convince MCP to lay down arms, via Loi Teck. The British needed this distraction so that Malayan communists could not succeed in gaining independence for Malaya, and for the British troops to come back from Indonesia.

When the war was over, the Dutch got hold of Indonesia, British troops were called back to suppress Malaya, and that was when all unions and left-wing organisations were banned and many of their leaders killed.

The promises the British made to MCP via Loi Teck to recognise the communists never materialised. As a matter of fact, with the newfound strength of the British army, they defeated the communists into exile.

“You see, Maryam, the cruel thing about colonialism is how brown people kill other brown people for those with pale skin and blue eyes,” Juliet said. Juliet is also a friend who had accompanied us in Yogyakarta.

“They made us fight each other, kill each other, and not even for the benefit of our own countries, but for the benefit of the imperialist countries,” her interjection served as a reminder of the unnecessary evils of colonialism, from which we only broke free not too long ago.

Image result for Poh Soo Kai

Some of the people who lived through British and Japanese occupations in Malaya are still living. And they tell their stories in their memoirs to be compared to the “official” history written by those who had won, at least on the side of history.

Colonialism may be a recent past, but unfortunately, it lives as a distant memory. Poh’s stories must continue to be told and recorded to do justice to our post-colonial discourse. For historians, or those who record history, have the power to tell truth to power in a time full of deception.

MARYAM LEE is a writer with a chronic tendency to get into trouble. What she lacks in spelling when writing in English is made up for with her many writings in Bahasa Malaysia. She believes in conversations as the most valuable yet underrated cause of social change. She wants people to recognise silences and give them a voice, as she tries to bring people together through words.

The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.

Mariam Mokhtar on Tun Dr. Siti Hashmah Mohamed Ali

February 25, 2018

Mariam Mokhtar on Tun Dr. Siti Hashmah Mohamed Ali

Wife. Mother. Grandmother. Sister. Aunt. Cousin. Friend. Pioneer.

Although many Malaysians harbour mixed feelings about her husband, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali is both loved and respected.

Marriage to a politician cannot be easy, especially one as active as Mahathir. Yet their marriage has proven both stable and enduring, despite the sacrifices that Siti Hasmah, her husband and their family must endure.

Image result for tun dr siti hasmah mohd ali

YAB Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah Mohamed Ali–A Model of Probity

The public normally sees a perfectly coiffed woman, dignified and unruffled. Despite the pressures of being married to the nation’s longest serving prime minister, she has always balanced the rigours of his office and the demands of the nation with those of her growing family. Other women would have suffered a nervous breakdown or been more demanding, but Siti Hasmah is too cultured for that.

She was one of the first Malay woman doctors in Malaya, and the first woman to be appointed a medical officer in the Kedah civil service. She likely gave up a full-time career to support her husband in his political position. By then, she was already famous in her own right for championing causes like family planning, women’s health and drug abuse control.

Image result for tun dr siti hasmah mohd aliMalaysia’s Lady of Grace and Honour with Her Love

In January, the Shah Alam convention centre was filled with shouts of “Hidup Tun!” when Pakatan Harapan’s Chief Secretary, Saifuddin Abdullah, announced Mahathir as the coalition’s prime ministerial candidate.

The crowd got to its feet, applauding and chanting his name. Mahathir stood and bowed to acknowledge and thank his supporters.

But amid the jubilant cries and noise of celebration, one woman was quietly shedding tears, shoulders hunched and head bowed so that no one could see her face.

Many might have concluded that Siti Hasmah was feeling a surge of emotions over the fact that Mahathir still retained his charm. The truth only emerged a month later, when she said in an interview with Oriental Daily News that she had been emotional because Mahathir was “going for a second round” at 93.

She said they were no longer 56 and 55, as they had been when Mahathir first became prime minister in 1981.

Siti Hasmah will turn 92 in July. Mahathir, who is a year older, must share his wife’s struggles. Nevertheless, he is determined to finish the unresolved business of rebuilding Malaysia before resuming his retirement and having a well-deserved rest.

Anyone who has been on the campaign trail knows that it is strenuous work. Many younger men struggle, but Mahathir’s stamina surpasses the imagination of most.

Today, his speech may be slower than it used to be, but his rejoinders are still strong. He may look smaller, fragile and more wrinkled, but his trademark wit and sarcasm remains. His policies may once have divided the nation, but even those who were affected have been spellbound when meeting him in person.

One man said, “I was ready to confront him and ask him about his controversial policies, but I came away hypnotised. He was so convincing. He spoke calmly and in such a matter-of-fact way that he completely disarmed me.”

Another person said, “At least he has the gumption to take on this battle for the hearts and minds of Malaysia. It must be grueling work. To speak off the cuff. To answer the questions. To travel from one ceramah to another. To be prepared for every eventuality, like the time some ruffians set off flares. Mahathir is not a young man, but he manages, with apparent ease.”

At a time, when he could be enjoying the solitude of his books, the company of his grandchildren and the hospitality of his friends, Mahathir feels it his responsibility to lead Malaysia.

He deserves our support to rebuild Malaysia, but his last battle royal in truth hinges on the support of his wife, Siti Hasmah.

Mariam Mokhtar is an FMT columnist.

The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.