Malaysia Must Overcome Its Troubled Past

July 12, 2015

UMNO Uses Whistleblower’s Arrest to Defend 1MDB

June 28, 2015

UMNO Uses Whistleblower’s Arrest to Defend 1MDB

by John Berthelsen

Xavier Justo

Malaysia’s political establishment is using the arrest of Xavier Justo in Thailand to try derail questions over the ill-starred 1Malaysia Development Bhd Fund that go far beyond whether the whistle-blowing Swiss national did or did not steal and doctor documents and pass them to Sarawak Report, a critical blog run by a British reporter.

The United Malays National Organization has mounted a full-court attack on Sarawak Report and the Malaysian financial publication The Edge, threatening to crack down on The Edge’s printing license and driving a campaign through allied bloggers, the UMNO-owned New Straits Times and other media.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak himself threatened action against Sarawak Report, which responded angrily that there was no wrongdoing. At the same time, there appears to be a move to tie Mahathir Mohamad, the nonagenarian former premier and 1MDB’s fiercest critic, to allegations that the case against 1MDB has been doctored. 

For months, 1MDB has been under significant pressure both from the political opposition and some members of Najib’s own UMNO to come up with answers over what has become of RMB42 billion [US$11.3 billion] in liabilities the state-funded investment company has accrued since it came into being six years ago. Some sources in Kuala Lumpur say as much as RMB25 billion may be unrecoverable. Najib and company officials have been scrambling to find funds to meet regular interest payments, some of which have been deferred, apparently for lack of funds to meet them.

Thais Nab Justo in Koh Samui

Justo was arrested by Thai police in the presence of reporters and photographers from the UMNO-owned New Straits Times to record the event and print a front-page story accusing the “heavily tattooed Justo” of a long series of sins including theft and attempting to blackmail officials of PetroSaudi International, a controversial oil exploration firm closely connected to 1Malaysia Development Bhd, whose problems are said to threaten Malaysia’s entire financial structure. 

“This shocking story had the country talking,” according to the New Straits Times. “Who is Xavier Andre Justo? How could such a sorry figure have ignited a major Malaysian political storm? What motivated this man, so disconnected from the nation of Malaysia, to launch such a callous attack on our people without a thought for the consequences? The answer appears to be cold, hard cash. Greed can be a route to riches, but it can also be a dangerous road to ruin, as Xavier Justo is learning the hard way. Now, he finds himself in a Thai jail awaiting prosecution on charges of attempting to blackmail and extort money from his former employers; with further charges to follow in the United Kingdom and Switzerland.”

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi threatened to take action against Sarawak Report and The Edge, a leading financial and investment news publication, both of which for months have been breaking embarrassing stories on the parlous state of 1MDB’s finances and on the connections between flamboyant young financier Low Taek Jho and Najib. Jho Low, as he is known, and Najib were instrumental in establishing 1MDB in 2009. Najib remains as the fund’s chief financial advisor.

 Home Minister’s Threat

Zahid charged that The Edge and Sarawak Report had been “spinning the facts” over the state of 1MDB’s finances. The government is armed with colonial-era legislation under the Printing Presses and Publications Act and the Communications and Multimedia Act to attempt to deny licenses to what it deems to be offending publications.  With Sarawak Report headquartered in the UK, however, Zahid’s threat remains an empty one.

Justo, who left PetroSaudi several years ago, somehow got back into the company’s computers to download 3 million emails that allege damaging information on the transactions with 1MDB and a company closely connected to Jho Low, as he is known.

There have been attempts to tie Justo’s revelations to Mahathir.  In a report by Malaysia Today, a blog also operated from the UK, Raja Petra Kamarudin said he had been told Sufi Yusof, Mahathir’s secretary, had made “a number of trips to Thailand over the past year to meet [Justo] and the Thai authorities are trying to establish this through immigration records.”

If the Thai authorities manage to establish that some of the documents and e-mails were, in fact doctored, Raja Petra wrote, “and that Sufi did make a few trips to Thailand to meet [Justo] and was aware of, or was a party to, this fraud, it is not going to look good for Dr Mahathir.

A Furious Brown  Answers

Clare Rewcastle Brown, the UK-based blogger who publishes the Sarawak Report, fired back with a furious 1,600 word riposte in which she threatened to sue for libel and defended on a case by case basis the documents that PetroSaudi officials alleged were doctored.

“Sarawak Report will be demanding satisfaction over these false allegations of ‘tampering,’” she wrote. “We suggest these misrepresentations are added to the list of potentially criminal activities by PetroSaudi, whose false charges on this point currently number amongst the allegations that have landed [Justo] in a jail in Bangkok.”

The blog, Brown said, “has closely researched the extremely serious and libelous allegations, which claim documents relating to our coverage of the PetroSaudi 1MDB joint venture were ‘tampered’ and ‘distorted’ in order to ‘creatively alter’ the truth. We can now prove that these allegations are demonstrably untrue, by examining the evidence on which they were based.

So, she wrote, “our message to those who have accused us is check your facts before you sound off your accusations and start to worry about libel suits, if you have defamed us or an innocent man who is now in jail. We can confirm that there is zero evidence brought forward so far to substantiate the claims of ‘distortion’ made over the past 48 hours by the New Straits Times and taken up by certain media, bloggers and UMNO politicians.”

Indeed, she charged, “the little evidence that has been provided by these parties can be shown to confirm the exact opposite, which is that there has been no tampering of documents. Even so, people who could also have made the very same checks have falsely alleged that Sarawak Report and the Edge newspaper lied and deliberately misled readers with ‘distorted’ information about 1MDB’s missing billions.”

The New Straits Times, she said, never bothered to substantiate “grave and libelous charges” by showing their readers the actual evidence.

“As Sarawak Report pointed out yesterday, we corroborate our claims, so why can’t they? The reason turns out to be that it is startlingly easy to show that the claim is completely untrue.”

1MDB: Where is the RM42 billion?

June 1, 2015

1MDB: Where is the RM42 billion? Just give us an honest answer and stop the bull, Mr Prime Minister

by Scott

Confused NajibSome days, I really do wonder what happens up in Najib’s office at Putrajaya, where I imagine a veritable horde of PR consultants, headed by Lim Kok Wing, work tirelessly to try to salvage the much damaged reputation of the Prime Minister. Sweat on their brows, they toil into the late hours to find answers to the questions thrust at the Prime Minister day in and day out, hoping to find a way, any way, to counter the vicious onslaught of Mahathir Mohamad.

I do feel pity for the PR team. They have great odds stacked against them. But then another FAQ appears on Najib’s website that makes me slap my head in disbelief and I remind myself that they’re paid handsomely for their services and thus should be castigated in full measure for their failure to get the Prime Minister to make the right moves.

As blogger Jebat Must Die points out, the FAQ is misleading and, once again, fails to actually answer the questions it purports to answer. For one, it’s riddled with semantics instead of answers, like Najib’s “explanation” for the unaccounted billions that should be in 1MDB’s coffers.

Mr Prime Minister, no one said that the money was a “loss” as that would mean that there would be a paper trail to bad investments or sudden market fluctuations. What we’re asking is, where is the money?

It is quite weird that so much money could just vanish into thin air, and Jebat makes a good point in pointing out that 1MDB purchased RM15 billion worth of assets. If those billions came from the RM42 billion that 1MDB is in debt for, there should be RM27 billion left, aside from the company’s RM51 billion in assets.

For that matter, there is also the extremely valid question of why the 1MDB cannot seem to handle its own corporate crisis communication, leaving our beleaguered PM to answer all queries. You’d think that a company worth billions would invest in a crisis communication team since scandals and such are bound to come up every once in a while. One really has to wonder how much time Najib has for actual governance while he runs around putting out 1MDB’s fires.

The Prime Minister seems unable to get anything right, trying his hardest to pass the buck for the 1MDB to whomever he can shunt it to (most recently, the Auditor-General) only for it to blow up in his face. Jebat makes another great point in recalling that Najib truly is a career politician with no real-world experience, and as history has shown, pampered elites are quite usually disconnected from the rest of the world.


Attempting to attack Mahathir without answering his questions directly is not a viable method of discrediting the former Prime Minister, especially since those same questions are echoed by the general public, the opposition and civil society members. In releasing so-called answers that fail to address the questions, the Prime Minister seems to be taking us for fools yet again despite the public contempt for his previous FAQ, which suffered the same delusional disconnect from reality.

Now that documents have leaked that show Najib has to approve all major investments made by 1MDB, it seems like there truly is no road for his redemption. He is now personally answerable for all the bad investments, the vanished money, and all the baggage that comes with 1MDB, and no amount of out-of-touch FAQs can redeem a brand that damaged.

Fight on if you will, Prime Minister. Give us a good show, and keep us entertained. We’ve paid for it already, anyway. But when the inevitable happens, know that you were the architect of your own fall, not Mahathir, not the opposition, not the “liberals” your administration seems to sneer at, not civil society. You were your own worst enemy.


MACC’s Tunku Aziz responds to his critics and detractors

June 1, 2015

MACC’s Tunku Aziz responds to his critics and detractors

Din's MontageOne may disagree with Tunku Aziz about MACC. I too have been very critical of this  anti-Corruption watchdog (should I say lapdog of the Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak?) and my views about its Chief Commissioner Tan Sri Abu Kassim and the Commission itself can be read in this blog. Just click corruption or MACC and you can read them or go the blog’s archives.

I have always said that MACC is a dysfunctional, sick and toxic organization. I once received a letter from MACC almost threatening me with legal action for remarks I made by this sweet talking Tan Sri Abu Kassim. By reading about  the late Teoh Beng Hock and Ahmad Sarbani and the current  legal battle between the MACC chief and Lawyer Rosli Dahlan, you will understand why MACC abuses power.

The MACC favours politicians in power but it is quick to investigate opposition parliamentarians, civil society leaders and others. It makes a mockery of the report of the Tech Beng Hock Royal Commission of Inquiry and the one concerning the infamous Correct, Correct VK Lingam video tape issue. MACC does not understand  accountability and transparency.

All that said, I am happy to put Tunku Aziz’s statement of May 29, 2015 on this blog. He has the right to express his opinion and defend his organization. Read it carefully and then comment on it.This blog is about freedom of expression with responsibility.

I know Tunku Aziz well and our friendship spans over several decades and we are still very good friends although we have different views on politics, economics, intermational affairs and social policy. I agree with him about governance and ethics. I also share his take on Tun Dr. Mahathir. But I disagree with him on Najib Razak, his policies and actions.

Tunku Aziz thinks that the Prime Minister is doing a good job.  But I do not.  On the contrary, in my opinion our Prime Minister is a weak and corrupt leader and has turned out to be an unmitigated national disaster and must therefore resign. I am also of the view that Najib should be investigated and charged for corruption and abuse of power. MACC is will not dare do it, of course since it reports to the Prime Minister. Dr. Mahathir too should be made to account for his 22+ years of misrule. –Din Merican

Tunku Aziz’s Media Statement

MEDIA STATEMENT as issued by Tunku Abdul Aziz in conjunction with a press conference held on Friday May 29, 2015 at 11.00 a.m. at the Eastin Hotel, Petaling Jaya.

tunku-aziz Let me say at the outset that it gives me absolutely no joy in having to say to Tun Mahathir Mohamad that by spewing scurrilous lies about 1MDB without any conclusive proof of wrongdoing by the Prime Minister or anyone else for that matter, he has reduced himself, in the eyes of many, to a figure of fun and ridicule.

His recent performance in Ipoh was admittedly most amusing and kept the audience in stitches, especially when he threw caution and good manners to the winds by repeating vicious rumours about Najib and his family. It was all too personal. Tun Mahathir Mohamad has to make up his mind whether he relishes the idea of being treated as a stand-up comedian or a responsible, respected and revered leader of men. On current performance he presents himself as an embittered, vindictive man who apparently is prepared to gamble with his reputation in pursuit of an unworthy cause bordering on obsession. His motive is suspect.

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions. He froths at the mouth every time he accuses 1MDB of causing a staggering RM 42 billion to disappear without a trace. This, as it turns out, is pure fiction, of course. As matters stand today, the figure of RM42 billion that he has used with regular monotony to get at the Prime Minister is shown very clearly as a debt in the company’s books. Company borrowings are a normal part of operating a business as Tun knows only too well. For the sake of good order and in the larger interests of justice and fair play, Tun should eat humble pie, take a deep breath, admit his mistake and apologise to the Prime Minister and the top management of 1MDB whom he has maligned. And while he is about it, will Tun please also apologise to all Malaysians for misleading them?

When he was Prime Minister several massive scandals broke out. He cunningly side-stepped the Dr Mahathir and C Brownissue of accountability. He explained with that familiar self-satisfied smirk on his face that in the case of the loans given by Bank Bumiputra Finance (BMF) to the Carrian Group and two other Hong Kong companies, when someone who was ‘established’ in the business world asked for a loan, one should not scrutinise his application too closely. Tun perhaps needs someone to jog his memory a little. During his premiership, but for the grace of God and Petronas this country would have been left high and dry as a result of frenzied institutionalised gambling in several financially disastrous scams involving the Ministry of Finance, Bank Negara Malaysia, and the Employees Provident Fund among other agencies.

One of the biggest scandals in world banking history was the BMF affair that cost the country US$800 million. Other loans amounting to US$163 million were made to companies in Hong Kong. These were doubtful loans from the start and had to be written off. We are talking about the early eighties: and the losses if expressed in today’s value would be many times the amounts incurred some 30 years ago.

Then there was the ‘Tin Caper’ in which Malaysia played the star role of the ‘Mystery Buyer’ to make a killing by the apparently simple expedient of cornering the international tin market. That cost the country RM660.5 million in losses according to Datuk Seri Lim Keng Yeik, one time minister of primary industries .As if this was not enough, we followed this up with the most notorious financial scandal of all – the foray into the FOREX market using the nation’s reserves to gamble, leaving Bank Negara Malaysia dangerously exposed. Bank Negara Malaysia lost RM30 billion (RM58 billion at today’s value) in this gambling spree. Typically Mahathir denied responsibility and to this day he remains unrepentant, blasé, and unapologetic for the scandals that happened when he was the head of government. His manic gambling with Bank Bumi and BNM money scandalised monetary authorities around the world. Tun Mahathir lost heavily in the tin escapade which saw the collapse of the International Tin Council and the disappearance of the tin industry worldwide.

He effectively turned the once respected Bank Negara Malaysia, the Central Bank of Malaysia, into a rogue institution. In the event, RM30 billion, (RM58 billion in today’s terms) was lost. It took BNM at least 10 years to amortise, and close the books finally in 2003 on this, the most shameful betrayal of trust in our history. BNM was close to being brought to its knees given its colossal exposure and rapidly depleting national reserves. Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli in his affidavit claimed that he was ordered to buy MAS at a vastly inflated price so that the government could cover the Forex gambling losses.

As these losses have never been satisfactorily explained, I urge the government to reopen the Forex case to establish whether any laws had been broken by the Mahathir administration in using the reserves held by Bank Negara Malaysia for the purpose of currency speculation. Those responsible who are still living today should be called to account for their actions. The government owes the people of Malaysia who have been left to pick up the pieces from this financial disaster a duty to effect a proper closure. I will be making a police report to get things started.

Mahathir’s Supporter takes a shot at Tunku Aziz.

Former DAP Vice Chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim has apparently bitten off more than he can chew in taking potshots at former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who has questioned Najib Abdul Razak’s qualification to be Prime Minister and demanded that he step down. Mahathir’s beef with Najib is the scandal-ridden 1MDB, among others.

Former New Straits Times Political Editor Firdaus Abdullah, for one, has reminded Tunku Aziz in a series of tweets that those who stay in glass houses should not throw stones.“Don’t be a political prostitute cos you have an axe to grind,” tweeted Firdaus who also blogs as Apanama. “Don’t let me shame you.”


The Prolific Fault-Finder faces an uphill battle against Najib Razak

May 30, 2015

The Prolific Fault-Finder faces an uphill battle against Najib Razak

by Terence

Mahathir-Vs-NajibCOMMENT: Probably the most prolific fault-finder ever in Malaysian politics is Dr Mahathir Mohamad. The faults he has found in others have led to the deposing of one Prime Ministers (Abdullah Badawi) and the replacement of three Deputy Prime  Ministers (Musa Hitam, Ghaffar Baba and Anwar Ibrahim).

This harvest of position-forfeiting flawed individuals is the most extraordinary collection of the fallen a decapitating politician is responsible for. However, in focusing on his third prime ministerial quarry, Najib Abdul Razak, Mahathir’s finds his modus operandi has been well learned and, as a result, a counter of some effectivity is being deployed.

Balthasar GracianThe going is not so easy for Mahathir this time and that is because his adversary has mined some insights from Balthasar Gracian whose understandings of the springs and wheels of political mechanics exceeded Niccolo Machiavelli’s from whom the former Prime Minister has, undoubtedly, learnt an awful lot.

Nobody learns the art of politics from a book, The Prince, certainly not PM Najib whose reading tastes must run to books on management which explains the plethora of managerial jargon in his administration.

It’s unlikely that Najib has ever heard of Gracian, a Spanish Jesuit, an aloof and aphoristic cleric more concerned with worldly affairs than with a spiritual vocation he conceived in the 17th century. In ‘The Oracle’ (1647), Gracian prescribed the route to power. The good priest wrote: “To enslave our natural superiors by the use of cunning is a novel kind of power, among the best that life can offer.”

No doubt, Najib considers Mahathir his natural superior; the oleaginous way he has, until recently, tackled his predecessor has made it difficult for the older man to get Najib in his cross hairs with something less than charity.

That’s probably why there was a time-lag of six months between Mahathir’s withdrawal of support for Najib, announced last August, and an outright declaration of hostilities, made two days after Anwar Ibrahim was consigned by the Federal Court to Sungei Buloh on February 10.

Mahathir has moved with more lethal alacrity when it suited him. It was a mere week between his public humiliation of then Deputy Prime Minister Anwar at the opening of the UMNO building in Penang in late August of 1998 and Anwar’s sacking from party and government in the first days of September that year.

Till the last, Anwar has hoped that what was sinister but hidden in all the preceding weeks would not arrive at the abrupt and cruelly public denouement it did in September.

Mahathir is a systematic and relentless man, moving step by step, stage by stage towards the attainment of his goals. Nothing is spontaneous, everything is planned. Not for nothing was he, a medical doctor, the first occupant of the PM’s office from the sciences and not the humanities, as his three predecessors in the post were.

The scientific habit of holding facts in solution marks his approach to political affairs: he owes no allegiance to what is true, except that which it suits him to say, at any one time, is true.

A plum pudding of a chance

Both Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Mahathir’s second prime ministerial casualty, and now Najib let go a plum pudding of a chance to nail the Mahathir when they had the opportunity.

Abdullah shelved the Royal Commission of Inquiry’s (RCI) report of March 2008 on the Lingam videotape which recommended that legal action be taken against Mahathir and a slew of political and judicial officials for offences that included case- and judge-fixing. Those were no small offences. You only allow someone to get off the hook on those charges if you cared not for what the let-offs do to the system.

Even graver than the fault of case- and judge-fixing is that of granting shady foreigners citizenship, just so their votes can help win elections. In addition to electoral fraud, the sins here savour of treason.

Paspor IndonesiaYet, Najib and his cohort of senior civil servants and former and serving judicial officers contrived to shunt the Royal Commission of Inquiry into illegals in Sabah from arriving at a conclusion that would have been disastrous for Mahathir though the testimony adduced before the RCI moved more plausibly towards indicting Mahathir than the tendered evidence that he committed a sexual crime moved against Anwar in his trials for sodomy.

Fat chance you get any favours from Mahathir for let-offs you grant him once he has already decided that you are his next target.

However, it now seems that the Najib forces have an arrow in their quiver: the newly-formed Citizens Governancefor Accountable Good Governance (CAGG) has asked Mahathir to account for the billions of ringgit in taxpayers’ money that were squandered during the 22 years (1981-2003) that he was PM.

In a nice display of chutzpah, the NGO’s spokesperson Mohd Zainal Abidin said they are not taking sides and would go after other Prime Ministers, including Najib, once they are done with Mahathir.

Mohd Zainal threatened to file a citizen’s lawsuit for the amount of RM50 billion against Mahathir should he not explain the ventures that incurred losses of over RM100 billion under his prime ministerial watch.

This development only means that Mahathir’s battle to oust Najib is more steeply uphill now, with the onus of eviction of Najib on reasonable grounds falling more onerously on Mahathir himself.

Given that Mahathir is the unrelenting sort, he will not give up but will have to come up with more compelling reasons than he has thus far offered for Najib’s ouster.This is now a clash between a relentless force and an immovable object with not a little guile, a la Gracian, behind it.

Who is going to win is not as important as the vitalness of an inevitable byproduct: the battle will destroy in the Malay mind what it has been hard for it to grasp – that UMNO has been more blight than boon to its long-term future.

If that happens, it will be a supremely good upshot.

TERENCE NETTO has been a journalist for more than four decades. A sobering discovery has been that those who protest the loudest tend to replicate the faults they revile in others.

A Malaysian answers Dr. Mahathir

December 31, 2012

A Malaysian answers Dr. Mahathir

by  Koon Yew

Dr MI was reminded of the witticism on politicians that “we hang the petty thieves but elect the great ones to office” when I read Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s claim in his blog that the Chinese (and Indians) are the real masters of the country.

Specifically, he wrote that “[b]ecause they (the Malays) are willing to share their country with other races, the race from the older civilisation of more than 4,000 years and who are more successful, as such today whatever they have now is also being taken away from them”.

As election day approaches, this line of argument is being rehashed. We can expect more of this race baiting by Dr Mahathir and his kind in UMNO and UMNO Youth when they are addressing Malay voters.

Of course, this rehashing will take on new permutations such as “the PKR and PAS are selling out the rights of the Malays” or “the DAP is really the dayang master pulling the strings of the Pakatan coalition”.

What is important is not to get angry or remain silent but to refute it with facts, figures and arguments.

Political idiocy

For Dr Mahathir to accuse the Chinese of being the real masters of the country is really the height of political idiocy. If we want to go by racial perception, it would appear to everyone that Malays dominate in every sphere of life in the country. They form the majority in Parliament, Judiciary, the Army,  the Police, the MACC and all other important agencies. In the socio-economic and educational sphere, they control all the major banks except for Public Bank, the GLCs, PETRONAS, public universities, civil service, etc.

Any Chinese or orang putih wanting to do business has to kowtow to the Malays for licences and permits. Moreover, Malay businesses control some of the monopolies such as water, electricity, toll roads, etc. where it is so easy for them to make more profits by just increasing the price.

Even the richest and most powerful Chinese and Indians such as Robert Kuok, Ananda Krishna, Tony Fernandez, Vincent Tan and others are completely at the mercy of the Malays if they want to do business in Malaysia.

It’s UMNO-BN that has called all the shots

But let’s not go by simplistic perception. The indisputable fact is that the real masters of the country are the UMNO-led Barisan Nasional, which has ruled Malays and Malaysia for over 55 years.

During that period, Dr Mahathir as Prime Minister was the undisputed  numero uno. He changed the country’s constitution and laws; sent his political opponents into prison or oblivion; singlehandedly undermined the judiciary; and put the clock and our time back to ensure that we would all wake up an hour earlier.

He even took on the most sacrosanct of Malay institutions ― the Sultanate ― by reducing the authority of Malay rulers.Dr Mahathir also controlled and manipulated the country’s purse strings. His financial leadership of the country have left an indelible black mark on the country’s economic and financial fortunes.

First, he made the key decisions on economic white elephants and scandals such as Proton, Bakun Dam, Putrajaya, and Perwaja. The last resulted in a loss of RM2.6 billion. Dr Mahathir himself has admitted publicly in 2002 in a dialogue with Malaysians in London that the loss could have been as much as RM10 billion due to possible misappropriation of funds.

Mother of all scandals

The mother of all financial scandals took place during Dr Mahathir’s time. This was the forex losses incurred by Bank Negara’s speculative currency trading which cost us over RM30 billion.

The second outcome was the plague of privatization he inflicted on the country. A devoted fan of Margaret Thatcher, Dr Mahathir pursued privatization of telecommunications, utilities, airlines and other public sector services with a vengeance. But he lacked the British Premier’s caution and acumen and closed both eyes to the leakages and abuses that accompanied the privatization programme.

Dr Mahathir can be considered to be the godfather of the class of capitalist cronies who have cornered much of the country’s wealth and who, together with UMNO-Barisan, are the undisputed masters of the wealth of Malaysia. These big time tycoons comprise many Chinese but they are a multiracial cast and include an increasing number of Malay businessmen.

Today, Dr Mahathir blames the Chinese for working hard and enjoying the fruits of their labour. He is envious of the Chinese middle and upper classes living in high end housing estates and owning the lion’s share of urban property.

He himself lives in a gated community and is reputed to own numerous properties but he laments for the many Malays living in squatter houses.But who has been responsible for this situation?

No escape for you, Dr Mahathir

Dr Mahathir needs to look at himself in the mirror. He has squandered our petro-dollars on his projects of superficial grandeur and his love of cronies, many of whom he has helped with expensive bailouts. He could have solved the plight of hundreds of thousands of squatters by using treasury funds on them instead of his pet projects.

If he had invested the money wisely in skill acquisition for the young Malays and in public housing and urban infrastructure for all Malaysians, especially needy and deserving Malays, the racial economic divide will surely not be so conspicuous.

Dr Mahathir still does not want to go away from the centre stage. He wants to remain in it because he knows that the BN has to maintain power if he is not to be made answerable for the racial, political and economic mess that he was responsible for and left behind as his main legacy.

The extent of his desperation can be seen in his speeches aimed at shoring up Malay support by claiming that the Chinese are the real masters of Malaysia.But as the Malaysian saying goes, his talk has no walk!