TUN MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD-A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE

DAVID IN A SEA OF LILLIPUTIAN GOLIATHS

They reserve a panegyric for his adversaries and critics, serve bile and vitriol at the very mention of his name, setting him up for a fall at every given opportunity. His strength in office was always his ability to withstand the many temptations that littered the path to fulfilling his vision. Many would dispute this. But fewer still if any would be willing or able to supply proof that he did amass a fortune in banking, finance, steel, in agriculture or gaming that the ‘coffee shop’ gossip mill, supported by the many anonymous bloggers in cyberspace claim he did.

 A BAPTISM OF FIRE- THE EAST WEST DICHOTOMY

As if the domestic baiting and insults were not enough a distraction, former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating who feared Dr. Mahathir was about to rain on his parade at APEC (Australia Pacific Economic Co- operation), chose to enter into the fray with an off the cuff remark he would live to regret.

Initially a spat over Dr. Mahathir’s stated reluctance to attend APEC or to give APEC the priority or credibility Keating had vainly pursued as self-appointed Marshall of the event, that remark sparked a generational and seminal change in how Australia and other developed countries in future would treat their counterparts in the developing world, seeking their rightful place in the sun with them.

That remark was political suicide for Keating as he desperately tried to brush aside its impact to Australia’s reputation with its other Asian neighbours in the aftermath of that blunder. It served as media fodder to appease and impress Keating’s domestic audiences at a time of his failing political fortunes amongst Australian voters.

Overcome by Dr. Mahathir’s perceived snub of his much vaunted formula for prosperity and security in the region in APEC , and in a conniption, Keating in one of his poorly calculated highly publicized moments of belligerence called Dr. Mahathir rather distastefully and inappropriately a ‘recalcitrant’. Little did he realise he had bitten off more than he could chew.

In calling Dr. Mahathir recalcitrant, Keating also unwittingly provided that much needed impetus, a catalyst to critical change in the mindset of a society that long craved a role model who could tit for tat address the arrogance and condescension of the colonial mindset amongst its Australian and British friends. A hero was born.

By that one remark, Keating reinforced a widely held perception in Asia of Australia and that of some of its leaders as being an anachronism, of self-appointed delusional guardians of the runt of a long lost empire of Europe in the region. A new breed of Asians in the region demanded social and political parity and respect in mutual relations with the west. It was Dr. Mahathir who forced that point.

The ‘recalcitrant’ incident is also objectively likely to have cost Australian industry a $4 billion ship building contract opportunity with the Royal Malaysian Navy.  It is also credited with having unleashed long dormant forces within the region seeking an opportunity to legitimacy in establishing the patrimonial creed of ‘Asian values’ in government as a political philosophy.

Dr.  Mahathir won wide praise and respect from many for his demonstrated willingness to stand up to the condescension of a perceived bully in the region.  That perception, a proposition that needed no further proof of its truth (following Keating’s outburst), was an unintended gift from Keating to this ‘recalcitrant’ who Keating perhaps also unwittingly provided with that opportunity to cement his position as that new voice to championing the many causes of the developing world.

A COOL WIND IN THE EAST

In cutting a swathe through an overgrowth of its immediate colonial past, downsizing and reinventing its impotent institutions and structures, Dr. Mahathir’s conduct appeared to be rocking a long established comfortable bed of cozy relationships the west had successfully cultivated and nurtured with the gate keepers of its vast economic, strategic and political interests in the region. Australia and Britain having invested more in the old guard appeared to have most to loose in any change to the political landscape in the region. They had not budgeted for capital change.

Dr. Mahathir the ‘threat’, and no small L liberal nor supporter of the western model of liberal democracy in which “anything goes” pales into insignificance when compared to the more colourful, eccentric and brutal leaders in Asia (friends of the west) on the point of reigning in dissent.

Like Lee Kuan Yew former prime minister of Singapore and now its minister mentor, a neighbor and the only other leader of a common law constitutional democracy in the region, he preferred an ordered society first in preference to that of any other socio political model.

Dr. Mahathir’s vision and model a variant on Lee’s theme, would allow for greater personal and political freedoms to express dissent within constitutional limits and without the need to radically amend the constitution to accommodate the ordered society. There was no “we’ll meet them in cul de sacs with knuckle dusters” crude, intimidatory physical threats to opponents or dissidents.

MAHATHIR THE MAN

This essay is not about Dr. Mahathir the myth. And yes from sycophants there are many such myths and songs of praise. Much of these an embarrassment to the man. They range from the frivolous to the fanciful to outright sensationalism, gossip and hero worship befitting a Bollywood script from acolytes within and without the Barisan National. Many of these operate in the mistaken belief and expectation that he may extend his mythical financial fortunes to provide favours to them in gratitude for singing his praises. Wrong.

His view is simply this: “Write about me by all means, but please be mindful to write truthfully and not simply sensationally”. After all his much awaited ‘memoirs’ which many have been holding their breath for appears to be as elusive and unpredictable as the man’s next broadside at government, a public figure or at UMNO itself.

A STORM BREWING

This article seeks not to explore in too much depth and when not required, claims and counter claims of an unsubstantiated nature against the man or his legacy. It is neither a scientific document nor an erudite scholarly piece of research intended for reference. Material is sourced from authoritative published works on the man and on Asian politics by Hajrudin Somun, Michael D. Barr, Khoo Boo Teik, The Economist various other publications including more recently Joe Studwell for balance.

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is no ordinary man. History I feel will be compelled to be kinder to him for his outstanding achievements as a statesman and leader of his country in delivering above average returns on his visionary political investments to what was once a largely backward and impoverished nation. There are those who will disagree. But then again there are those for reasons of their own who will insist the earth is flat.

The goods in economic opportunities, scientific and educational benefits that the popular press and sectors of Malaysia’s largely middle class, a monster of his own economic political policies enjoy and ignore, are largely the fruits of his risk averse policies and his vision.

He wrested an idyllic tropical backwater from the clutches of relative obscurity and economic insignificance catapulting it into a 21st century industrial orbit leaving many nations in its neighbourhood reeling in envy in its wake.

A definitive thesis on the man and his politics this is not. Perhaps that may be more appropriate for a later date by someone with more critical bent on history and less impressionable than a former citizen writing from a relatively forensic but not detached perspective of Malaysia and the man. However a more substantive and probing biography will be the subject of someone else’s pursuit.

There is little doubt that such a biography and history of modern Malaysia will be written and documented more authoritatively by academics if not collated and carefully catalogued by historians for posterity. After all it is not simply about a man, but of a time and of seminal events of that time, even if precipitated by the man and his policies.

Dr. Mahathir did not set out to emulate or to displace his prickly neighbor Lee Kuan Yew. The two could not be more different. They are poles apart in every respect, motivated by different causes and objectives and are as different as day is to night.

Lee took twice the amount of time as Dr. Mahathir did to achieve half as much of what Dr. Mahathir achieved if not less in that same time, in a country with a homogenous complaint population, less cultural diversity,  a single party government thus fewer problems in a state only about one twentith of Malaysia’s physical size.

Dr. Mahathir’s achievements conversely in this regard were without the repression, race polarization, suppression of dissent or the generous bounties of western benefactors in proportion to that gifted to his neighbours to achieve lesser comparable outcomes for their citizens. In fact his achievements were attained inspite of his and his countries problems. Some say his achievements were driven by a need to overcome those seemingly insurmountable problems in the face of a seasoned and well entrenched opposition and a multi party system.

IS THERE A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE?

Mahathir Mohamad took over the reins of government in Malaysia as a most unlikely and perhaps least trusted candidate from an available pool of talent at the time for the job. It was not a decade since the racial (some say political) riots of 13 May 1969 which tore at the fabric of a volatile mix of three racially diverse communities following a general election. It was an event which many lay blame on him for inciting with his ‘firebrand’ rhetoric in support of his brand of Malay nationalism.

The Chinese and Indians prior to this event believed in an ascriptive right to rule their majority hosts, as if it were a natural progression from being trusty retainers of the British Raj to being substitutes for their role in a new independent Malaya.

Their attitudes were to a large extent actively encouraged by Tengku Abdul Rahman Malaysia’s first Prime Minister. The trend continued with Tengku’s successors through inaction in office till the late 1970’s when a series of domestic political events would fatefully change the course of modern Malaysia’s history.

ANYONE FOR A MILLION CITIZENSHIP PAPERS?

A litmus test of loyalty of Malaysia’s non Malay communities arose with the renewed implementation of a hitherto tokenistic NEP (New Economic Policy) of affirmative action (or positive discrimination) favouring Malaysia’s majority Malays in education, business opportunities and employment. It would become a cornerstone of national economic development policy. Now the opportunity presented to exercise an option to extend that policy and Dr. Mahathir did just that.

In a masterly stroke of genius, a Machiavellian Dr. Mahathir set out to offset the otherwise conveniently overlooked egregious human disaster the Tengku had engineered earlier on following indepndence. Without proper consultation with its Malay majority the Tengku in an unprecedented act of ‘generosity’ handed out  a million citizenships to non Malays in Malaysia. They were mainly to the many Chinese who were stateless, illegals and remnants of the British Empire now resident in an independent Malaya.  In so doing he undermined the already fragile racial balance, testing political stability to its limits and streteched tolerance levels and credibility, setting back Malay rights to an almost irredeemable position. At Dr. Mahathir’s extension of the NEP the Chinese were not impressed. The Indians cried foul. Clearly something else was afoot and no one was in a position to read the man nor guess his next move.

The man they had termed an ‘ultra’ (a euphemism for an extremist nationalist) was now at work. He was till then an unknown untested commodity in politics. A man without the accepted social pedigree of public school, the Inns of Court in London’s legal quarter nor nurtured or favoured by Whitehall.

Uncertainty and an uneasy calm gripped diplomatic and domestic political circles at what seemed to be a nascent threat to the world’s most important waterway after the Suez Canal. Another Gammal Abdul Nasser firebrand perhaps likely to use religious and nationalistic logic to disrupt international trade with religious zeal?

Whitehall was not his priority. Nor was it on his immediate agenda or radar. Not for the moment at least. Traditional trade, cultural and political ties reaffirmed in cursory rituals made way now for Japan, Korea and Taiwan instead.

To the annoyance of many he viewed the old ties as nothing more than benevolent donor states whose primary interests did not accord with his own vision for development. A reactive momentum of resistance began to accumulate in disapproval of the man and his unpredictable vision for their turf.  These were uncertain times. The East was the answer.

WHAT’S IN A NAME AFTER ALL?

At the outset the man appears to have distinguished himself form the rest of the crowd with both his demenour and his innate capacity to identify an opportunity, to nurture it to its full potential and to do so in the face of overwhelming resistance.

He delivered on more of his promises on economic development than any of his predecessors, his immediate successor and the current incumbent in office had. Although in fairness Najib Razak has to be given time to prove himself.  Whoever aptly named him Mahathir (a derivative of the Sanskrit Mahathiran meaning man of great destiny) must have had a prescient characteristic about them.

With policies and a style as varied as his counter belligerence of Margaret Thatcher’s tertiary education fee rises of the early 1980’s to his “look east” policy for economic development, the man, love him or hate him, simply could not be ignored.

He was throughout his term in office transfixed on his vision of achieving first world status for Malaysia through a massive industrialization and poverty eradication programme,  through education, training and a new and more productive work ethic, eschewing trade union dominance of the workforce

A new form of collective bargaining, shared community responsibility, individual accountability and quality consciousness were all part of this new paradigm shift the media branded “Mahathirism”.

Very few of the new or old industrialized nations of the world have achieved the levels of economic and political progress at a comparable rate anywhere in modern history. Not at least without some bloodshed, communalism, large scale repression of the masses or some form of disenfranchisement of their minorities which Dr. Mahathir managed to avoid.

His vision was contemptuous of inefficiency, lack of effort, bureaucratic red tape or processes based on outdated traditions. Those traits of his has too often been conveniently interpreted as contempt for the poor, the non Malays, in particular its citizens of Indian and Chinese extraction. Many of the latter two groups still claim to be marginalized in Malaysian society. It is a claim hotly debated and open to scrutiny.

ECONOMIC LEADERSHIP AND INDUSTRIAL DEVELOPMENT

From an unimpressive third world country ranked 60 for the size of its economy, its GDP and output in production in the early 1960’s he dragged Malaysia to an impressive 19th position at its peak in a space of 20 years. An impressive performance by any measure. It is in fact exceptional when compared to the achievements of Malaysia’s repressive neighbours.

In 2009 the World Economic Forum Competitiveness Report placed Malaysia at 24 in terms of its international competitiveness in trade. That Malaysia was placed a notch above China and India (half the world) is itself testimony to the sound foundations laid by Mahathirism.

These are statistics which irritate those who still believe that a Malay is genetically incapable of handling the economic development of his country. A form of very unsubtle racism still celebrated amongst Malaysia’s non Malay population.

Its rate of inflation hovering at 0.4% (consumer prices : source CIA Factbook 2009). Poverty in his 20 odd years at the helm was reined in from 64.5% (mainly amongst Malaysia’s Malays and Indians) in and around 1970 to 8.5% (2004) shortly after he retired from office. An impressive achievement by any standards if one adds a GDP of about $385 billion.

As of 2008, Malaysia is home to 15 companies that rank in the Forbes Global 2000 ranking. The top 6 on the list includes Malayan Banking (623rd), Tenaga Nasional (625th), Sime Darby (691st), Bumiputra-Commerce Holdings (704th), Telekom Malaysia (780th), and Public Bank (822nd).

The NEP though remains a bone of contention for the disproportionate level of economic prosperity it has delivered to the mainly Chinese and Indian sectors at the expense of Malay rural poverty. Inspite of this both Chinese and Indians lobby for dismantling the NEP and for more economic benefits from government claiming to be disenfranchised.

A NEW WORK ETHIC- A NEW BROOM

Whilst her neighbours languished in to the grip of totalitarian kleptocracies, Malaysia was busy blazing a path to an industrial vision thought too ambitious by some but not by the faithful in the Doctor’s camp. You had to believe to belong.

Long hard yards and burning the midnight lamp was the order of the day at his sparsely furnished but utilitarian offices. He introduced personal responsibility to a nation yet to crawl out of the cot of its post -independence culture where the concept of individual responsibility and freedoms was still relatively novel a concept. Till he came along the state and community accounted for the individual. Balancing the needs of the two in a changing Malaysia required the ability to walk on water.

Each worker in the public service was compelled to be identifiable by a name tag they wore. The man wore one himself in office and in public. They were the hallmarks of a new work ethic in the making. Everyone had to contribute. Everyone was accountable. This was the gotong royong so often repeated in slogan in government of his predecessors in rhetoric but seldom put into effective practice except in the rural hinterland where the practice was custom.

AN ECONOMIC RACE VERSUS THE POLITICS OF RACE

Racial undercurrents that once threatened instability and the fabric of this fragile society had to be contained not with a big stick but through investment in industries that would galvanise the spirit of all three major races forging a new identity of Malaysian rather than of Indian, Chinese or Malay. Difficult but worth the try.

Armed with a steely determination to succeed, a commitment never to look back or  to retreat in the face of adversity,  he took many a fork in the road set out for him and his country by his predecessors and imposed on his country by the more oppressive, ruthless multi-lateral donour bodies like the World Bank.

On his journey old foes became new friends. The Japanese Zaibatsu, Taiwanese and Hong Kong Taipans, South Korean Chaebuls, curious Arab sheiks with risk capital to chance on his vision were all joined in his caravanserai.

Australian, British and American flight capital, hot money, economic refugees seeking more favourable tax treatment and an escape from the tyranny of unionized labour now holding governments to ransom in their homeland were all making a bee line to his capital Kuala Lumpur.  All except ‘the Magi’ it seems had joined the rush to this new El Dorado.

To add to its attraction Malaysian’s spoke English (albeit with accents), it practised a legal system common to many and apart from its many investment opportunities it also had a strong determined man at the helm who more than promised but also delivered results on terms international investors expected.

A NEVER ENDING MINORITY NEED- THE POLITICS OF GREED

Twenty odd years on he sits comfortably at the 86th floor of a building that was built by one of the country’s better known entrepreneurs, an Indian not a Malay. Surveying the city of KL below, dwarfed by the sheer size of the Petronas Twin Towers he points to his guests the only two or three large buildings owned by Malays (Bumiputeras and the beneficiaries of his NEP) in the vast commercial space below.  Contrary to popular myth, the Malays have not benefitted from the NEP as much as is widely rumoured. Distortions of the NEP’s effect on Malays is a contention and a contentious one at that supported by the unwieldy opposition in Malaysian politics.

Wealth in Chinese hands in Malaysia is to put it mildly obscene. Indians have fared much better than they ever did before Dr. Mahathir’s ascendency although the Tamils are the Indians often referred to in the Malaysian context which tends to distort the facts.

A not insignificant group of non Tamil Indians have prospered beyond their wildest dreams in Mahathir’s Malaysia. Many amongst them much like the Chinese claim economic disadvantage and discrimination inspite of having displaced the majority Malays in a number of areas of human endeavour. This is a statistic not often acknowledged by critics of the Barisan National government of Malaysia.

Dr. Mahathir himself it is widely acknowledged is largely responsible for the emancipation of the plantation based Tamil population of lowly paid labourers. Many though still languish in relative poverty unable to access the fruits of Malaysia’s development, arguably a manifestation of divisive, exploitative, inter caste domestic Indian politics. Added to this their stubborn self imposed exile behind the exclusivity of Tamil vernacular education preferred over the more inclusive National Type English/ Malay medium schools.

Controversially it is alleged, that Dr. Mahathir failed to rein in the excesses and cronyism of  Malay, the Indian and Chinese elites of his political allies in government.

There is strong evidence of political patronage given to the few who found a fast track to wealth and economic prosperity during his time in office: Or

Was it simply the case that, a new brash breed of risk takers were now free under his government, to overcome the stifling archaic patronage and monopoly of an old guard, to whom all  of Malaysia’s wealth and prosperity once belonged,  and  till his arrival was their exclusive protected right?

His response would of course be that if he did interfere he would have been accused of being heavy handed and undemocratic to his allies in government. These individuals representatives in the coalition were after all elected representatives of the other races in a coalition in which his party was dominant but not their political masters to dominate.

Dammed if he did dammed if he did not. It was simply a distraction he would have to endure and thicken his skin along the way. A thorn perhaps in the rose garden he was busy cultivating out of a once glorified malarial swamp.

CRITICISM AND CONFUSION(ISM)

Former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew has on many an occasion mocked Dr. Mahathir and his policies in government but seldom done so directly. Lee remains the pin up boy of those who lament what Malaysia could have been if the Chinese were in total control.

Lee is also widely believed to have given license to those select few authors and commentators seeking a platform to attack Dr. Mahathir in unprecedented privilege in freedoms of expression granted by the island state. The privileges include the free right to some to publish unsubstantiated, personal criticisms and allegations of impropriety directed at Dr. Mahathir and his government from the relative safety and shelter of the island state across the causeway.

However and notably so at the same time, rather paradoxically, Lee would deny his own constituents from late opposition parliamentarian Ben Jeyaratnam to publications like the Far Eastern Economic Review that same right and privilege to criticise Lee’s and his government’s many failings and questionable decisions whilst Singapore would continue to maintain its maniacal, repressive grip on its citizens and their rights to freedom of political and moral expression to this day.

TRENDIES AND NGOS

A wily politician he was and remains to this very day. Dr. Mahathir has outlasted many of his political peers, contemporaries and adversaries alike. That his character is indelibly stamped all over modern Malaysia is a source of never ending humiliation and irritation to those who insist Malaysia’s modernization was a natural logical process and he Mahathir a mere interloper in that process.

However in Malaysia where personal responsibility is anathema to its new generation of effete, affluent youth demanding handouts, criticism of government is a natural response to poor individual performance and an excuse to engage in Malay bashing.

There is also prevalent amongst these mainly foreign tertiary educated, a sense of exaggerated self-importance, disproportionate to their personal contributions. The phenomenon is not restricted to non- Malays alone although, it is largely confined to a Chinese constituency peppered with a very vocal Indian minority in their midst.

Such criticism and its language is clearly stamped with a clichéd vernacular borrowed from the youthful and adventurous world of sinister organizations networked and clandestinely linked to patrons with a dubious nexus to the Neo Cons of Washington, conservative think tanks in London or the DGSE in Paris.

Deceptively describing themselves as non government organizations or NGO’s they have their roots in the Australian university student sub culture where many are recruited from. Many of them selected for their servile and intellectually emasculated mindsets in furtherance of personal political gain.

More amusing of these is the Chevening scholar who continues to be selected from Malaysia’s elite youth corps (authors own words) by Britain in what Britain continues to believe is its right to shape the model for future leaders of Malaysia 64 years from Merdeka with scholarships.

SOCIAL ENGINEERING COMPARING NEIGHBOURS

“To test a man’s real character you give him power” :Abraham Lincoln.

Much of the criticism aimed at Dr. Mahathir claims a role model of the Lee dynastic Singapore variety of politics as the example of how Malaysia ought to be governed.

In sharp contrast, Dr. Mahathir whilst in office was careful to discourage his won children from aspiring to similarly lofty political heights on the basis they were his children. There was no dynastic or succession master plan as was the case in the Nehru, Lee, Suharto Kennedy and Bush dynasties. No one within the ranks of his detractors took notice, perhaps it is an inconvenient truth to acknowledge.

Like a weapon, a strategic unrelenting anti Mahathir (read anti Malay) campaign is clandestinely and effectively being waged from within Malaysia’s mainly Chinese dominated western educated communities. For effect it is being repeated ad nauseum  through social media channels like the internet to dislodge the governing coalition at the  next general elections in support of a Singapore type republican society. End the privy purse? the Sultanates? the pillars and protectors of Malay culture?

Many amongst Malaysia’s youth tend to ignore or are selectively ignorant of the inherent dangers of the imperfection of Singapore’s model of government and its idea of a meritocracy. For it merit is based on assumptions and an even cruder interpretation and application of the science of eugenics.

The Singapore model assumes a predisposition of an individual’s character against a racial template created in the minds of its leaders. That template more or less determines the end result aided by an obsequious coterie of social scientists.

These social engineers in turn are selected and approved by the state leadership to lend credibility to pre determined outcomes in support of that queer model of eugenics and racial profiling in which lo and behold the Chinese are magically it at the top of the tree.

In turn and out of the benevolence and good spirit imbued in their genes they will it is assumed tolerate and  care for the lesser beings in their midst like the Malays and Indians, sharing their largesse, the spoils of the endeavours of their ‘master race’. A radical variant to the theme of the ancient Hindu Brahminical text ‘Manu’ later adapted by Friedrich Nietzsche to whose writings Lee fanatically subscribed during his days at Cambridge.

Most Malays and Malaysian Indians though are unable to forget or forgive the betrayal at partition in 1965 when a meritocracy was promised and a Sino centric state delivered to them instead. In it all others are lesser equals.

MALAYSIA’S DEVELOPMENT AND MAHATHIR’S ROLE

A typical criticism of Dr. Mahathir and his achievements is carried in arguments that suggest the momentum he initiated, turning that proverbial backward malarial infested swamp Malaysia once was into a 21st century industrial powerhouse in a space of less than 20 years, was not his to lay claim to.

These arguments fail for his critics’ failure to proffer credible alternatives to what they believe Malaysia could otherwise have been in different circumstances.  Others still say Malaysia’s economic development under Dr. Mahathir was based on a flawed model further distorted by his participation in it. Worse still there are those who accuse him of having hijacked the process of development that had been carefully planned, nurtured and laid out for implementation by his predecessors. Of course such a claim is incomplete without the added insult that Malaysia’s success was solely the result of the indispensable efforts of the two minority races, the Chinese and the Indians.

Painful and undiplomatic as it may be, the drivers of this particular brand of criticism are mainly an avaricious chauvinistic Chinese community who to some lesser extent are aided by their Indian counterparts. Many amongst them feel that they have somehow unfairly and unjustly been by passed in the process of development; or that the measure of prosperity they enjoy is disproportionately inadequate to the merits of their contributions to Malaysia’s development.

None of these claims though have ever been tested openly anywhere for their veracity. To give it any more credence than as fuel to light up a good gossip session in ‘coffee shop’ is to vitiate ones own intellect . But life goes on.

Dr. Mahathir is also often accused by his detractors of shamelessly having crowned himself in the glory of others to cover up his political incompetence in office. Or worse still he is accused of unjustly catapulting the ‘indolent’ Malay majority to an undeserved reward by extending the NEP.

In each of these allegations there is little more than anecdotal evidence to substantiate. The proof of his achievements in his 20 odd years as head of government is undeniably evident in every aspect of Malaysian life today. It would be arrogant, self denial to ignore. Education, reduction in poverty, dynamic industrial growth and a GDP many a European nation would struggle to achieve today.

CRONYISM OR TOYNBEE’S CREATIVE MINORITY

What also cannot be denied and is perhaps at the root of the pain he is perceived to have inflicted on Malaysia’s ‘intellectual’ elite, is that a man with a medical degree outwitted and outperformed foreign trained, foreign educated Ivy league  economists, financial engineers, lawyers and professional advisors to implement his dynamic vision for Malaysia .  He achieved that vision in defiance of and in a seminal departure from economic orthodoxy and the World Bank. This was the Mahathir heterodox. Mahathirism was born.

There was then as there is now a plethora of economic models in thesis and theory, gathering dust within the wood panelled libraries of the great centuries old schools of business economics worldwide on how a country like Malaysia could or should have developed.

Dr. Mahathir created his own model. Much of it developed in the confines of the same genes and that battle scarred mind that enabled him to overcome prejudice and to defy convention to become the first Malay to gain admission to medical school at the University of Malaya, graduating as its first Malay doctor. Someone had to break that mold and it appears fate chose him for the task.

Little detail is available of that battle. It was some say more personal than political but perhaps better reserved for another chapter another opportunity in scribbling details of his life. That event though much ignored by historians and journalists alike has equivalent historical significance to that milestone 1954 US Supreme Court’s decision in Brown vs The Board of Education. 

It is sadly something his adversaries prefer to elide, incapable of or not wanting to acknowledge.  Instead as if to justify their false sense of legitimacy to their distorted perceptions of Malays as lesser beings, they refer to him as an Indian parading as Malay. Such is the extent and effect of the polarization in politics of race engineered by the British in dividing the nation along racial lines.

Persistent allegations of cronyism during his time in government are a more difficult task to explain off for the customary tendency of most Asian states post independence to have allocated special and scarce resources and opportunities to the more able amongst them to responsibly exploit for the benefit of the nation as a whole. The practice of first amongst equals.

AN ASIAN PARODY OF DEMOCRATIC VALUES?

Eric Cheah, Vincent Tan, Ananda Krishnan and his own one time deputy in government a highly skilled, intelligent and commercially astute operator Daim Zainuddin and their meteoric rise to wealth which occurred during Dr. Mahathir’s stewardship of the nation hang now like a mill stone around the octogenarian’s weary neck .

Without going into too much detail about the sources or merits underlying the respective achievements and the falls of each of these ‘favoured’ industrial titans, one has to examine these allegations against a backdrop of long held unbroken traditions in the nature and history of patronage in Asian societies.

The definition of patronage in this context includes that same definition applicable in Singapore before, during and after independence and separation. The practice of ‘selectivity’ in awarding key industrial licenses, opportunities and privileges have largely and inextricably been linked to national development, industrialization, community responsibility and economic development across Asia and the world. Only in Singapore is the racial dynamics of merit based on an untested and flawed perception that the Chinese are superior to the other races in a selective application of the theories of Nitsche and Toynbee combined to distort to lend legitimacy to. But who amongst the mice there is bold enough to ‘bell the cat’ and question that philosophy or methods of its implementation by government in Singapore?

The practice of patronage and patrimony pre dates European settlement in Asia. The European model of  meritocracy, particularly in a form where the British granted licenses and allocated scarce resources to those they favoured amongst their subjects in the colonies then is no different to that which Dr. Mahathir and his fellow Asian leaders are accused of having practised. It is now identified as a vice by the west .  (Joe Studwell’s ‘Asian Godfathers is perhaps a better read on the subject).

Oddly, Dr. Mahathir’s selective allocation of scarce economic resources, privileges and rights if true in the context to which it is ascribed to his government by his critics, described as corrupt by his critics fails to satisfy the definition of corruption, a term which lacks definition in Malaysia’s anti corruption legislation.

The offence of corruption instead in Malaysia relies on proving a matrix of facts that would result in the commission of an offence against public policy or the commission by a person in public office of an offence of a criminal nature in the performance of their official duties which is against public policy.

On either score there is no evidence to suggest that what Dr. Mahathir did in advancing Malaysia’s economic development was corrupt. Not at least on the available evidence in the context of existing legislation.

Interestingly the same alleged practice of patronage in Singapore at a relative moment in its development was glossed over and attributed to the lofty philosophical morality of Arnold Toynbee’s cyclical view of history described by Michael D. Barr in his book Lee Kuan Yew “The Beliefs behind the Man”. In it Barr describes Lee’s justifications for his political philosophy and condescension of his constituents with an abstraction from Toynbee which sums it up thus:

the malleable nature of culture and the role of the creative minority as the dynamic leadership of the passive or ‘uncreative majority.”

This, Barr invites the reader to conclude is that moral justification for privilege and patronage to a selective few in the island state from where much criticism against Dr. Mahathir either originates or is conveniently channeled through.

What Dr.Mahathir is accused of having dished out to his ‘cronies’ in this respect is distinctly different to what Margaret Thatcher lobbied for her errant and wayward son Mark Thatcher  whilst in office. The young Thatcher’s exploits included attempting to seize the contract to  build a military hospital for US$300 million with public money in Riyadh Saudi Arabia during Thatcher’s reign to allegations of having financed a coup in a west African state using South African mercenaries to overthrow a sovereign government and seize its oil wealth after his mother had retired.

ISLAMS WHITE KNIGHT

As unofficial spokesman for the much maligned Islamic world Dr. Mahathir has almost single handedly and largely by his example in office, perhaps also unintentionally been held out by progressives as a role model and goodwill ambassador for the much maligned Islamic world. It is he who is also  credited by his example with shielding Islam from further self destruction by deflecting otherwise legitimate generalizations of its character as a violent, oppressive and medieval theology with his model (Islamic) state of Malaysia .

He delivered to Islam the credibility it craved for decades, having eluded it for centuries being unfortunately and inextricably linked to the volatile, violent and unpredictability of middle-eastern politics.

Apart from the late Gammal Abdul Nasser he remains Islam’s only credible ambassador (which includes that large body of Malays and Indonesians and Indians who are adherents to that faith not involved in Arabism) whose record in office transcends the medieval fanaticism and interpretations of Islamic theology held captive to ‘pan Arab nationalism’ tainting its otherwise glorious secular and culturally diversified history.

His personal intervention in the Balkan conflict to find a lasting solution and to stop the slaughter of mainly Bosnian Muslims by Serbs whilst the world stood by watching with little interest, was not always welcome at the UN nor in the west. This was after all a European conflict. Although the UN proved largely ineffective and somewhat disinterested in stopping the carnage, an unfamilair,   unrecognized voice as his counsel was not intially welcomed.

It is widely recorded and undeniable that his persistence amid the embarrassment of UN inactivity on the plight of the Bosnian Muslims secured the better alternative to a more belligerent force of mainly Arab Muslim states threatening wide reprisals against Europe for allowing the genocide of mainly Muslim Bosnians. Dr. Mahathir’s alternative strategy of requiring deployment of neutral forces under the auspices of the UN eventually carried the day to stop the carnage.

Arabs and the new European states of the former Soviet republics though took notice of the man and his mettle on this occasion. In their midst now stood a voice they could rely on to be heard.

Islam as it turned out had a different face after all. A more acceptable, more liberal one than the Arab variety complete with redeeming features of its past glories hidden under the rubble of bloody middle east conflicts finding new life in a soutn east Asian polyglot. This variety, more humane than the theology of its enemies. Its model as practiced in Malaysia  celebrated the arts, the sciences and human advancement in a secular environment. But was such an acceptable view or perception of Islam as Dr. Mahathir was projecting convenient or tolerable at a time when the west desperately needed another bogey in the face of crumbling communist empires to fuel their crisis driven need to dominate the world?

THE VERY PUBLIC ADMONISHING OF A JEWISH MONEYMAN

Dr. Mahathir’s very public spat with hedge fund quant, George Soros otherwise sound in substance but for the Jewish taunt was, perhaps one of very few faux pax’s in his  distinguish and unblemished career as an international statesman.

The substance of his quarrel with Dr. Soros was not taken seriously enough though. Although some say his advocacy against currency speculation was prophetic. His critics, friends and foe alike were left to squirm in embarrassment in the wake of his infamous attack on George Soro’s cultural heritage in being Jewish. Ascribing to the Asian economic crisis the speculative pursuits of Soros and other Jews on the Malaysian ringgit amongst other things as the root cause of the currency crisis.

Although indefensible for its attack on Soros’ ethnicity (A Hungarian Jew) cultural heritage Dr. Mahathir’s alleged criticism of Soros in this regard pales into insignificance when one considers what else Soros has been referred to in private and in public since that event.

Leaving that perceived flaw of his aside, was Dr. Mahathir right on the money (if you’ll pardon the pun) in his condemnation of the activities of people like Soros and his fellow hedge fund managers on the point of unproductive and unnecessary interference in a country’s sovereignty through speculating on their currencies? was he also not right in predicting the outcomes to world economies in allowing the Soros’ of this world to go unchecked?   Perhaps one ought to examine Britain’s reasons for not wanting to adopt the Euro as its currency in place of Sterling.

A ROLE INTO THE FUTURE

There exists a belief that Lee Kuan Yew, Dr. Mahathir’s most strident critic in his twilight years has been instrumental in pushing for the change in fulfillment of his prophesy that the two states will merge at some stage (but on Lee’s terms).

Whilst the mainly Chinese admirers of Lee are keen to advance Lee’s dream, the greatest threat to the Singaporeanization of Malaysia was apparent during the short uneventful and destabilizing period of Abdullah Badawi immediate successor to Dr. Mahathir when he entered into agreements with Singapore’s prime minister Lee Tsien Loong son of its former prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, under which Malaysia would cede large tracts of territory under long term leases to Singapore investors mainly Singapore government approved entities to exploit.

There was much resentment in Abudullah Badawi’s failure to consult and obtain the consents of the Malay grass roots in this respect giving rise to more suspicion that Dr. Mahathir has yet a large and active role in preserving the rights of Malaysia’s Malays well into the future as he already had in his 20 odd years as its most dynamic and revered leader.

This is the first part in a series of essay’s on Tun Doctor Mahathir Mohammed former Prime Minister of Malaysia.     

 

Comments
56 Responses to “TUN MAHATHIR BIN MOHAMAD-A DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE”
  1. Brutal Foul says:

    Thanks you. It’s a good story. I’m waiting for the second part.

    Like

  2. AYAH says:

    Finally, a great read. Been waiting for someone to provide this kind of treatment of the good doctor I admire so much. I made it a point to finish rrading and digest the whole thing despite the many distractions I had.

    Please don’t keep us waiting too long for the next instalment.

    Like

  3. ICE says:

    Very soon doctor at home will receive a very good prescription from Dr Wikileaks….

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      Yes the Wikileaks material on him will disappoint. It merely describes him as someone with a possibly anti western bent whom the mainly Chinese believe dislikes them. But nothing about the so called corruption the Chinese who became rich under him.

      Maybe you should read up on the Sydney Morning Herald publishing of leaks that confirm through an Australian secret informant by the name of Lee Kuan Yew confirmation by intercepting SIGINT (signal intelligence) that Anwar Ibrahim did in fact commit the offence of Sodomy.

      GRK

      Like

  4. Syed Mahmood Chishty says:

    Thank u for such a great read!Awating for further instalments,syabas !

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      You are most welcome Syed Mahmood Chisty. Keep reading. The truth is sometimes as interesting if not stranger than fiction.

      Salaams

      GRK

      Like

  5. Cogratulations,wonderful piece awaiting further articels.

    Like

  6. Braver says:

    I being an Indian citizen, have been studying various models of different Asian countries (Non-Western) in which the concerned nation as a whole including its vast masses progressed very much to the like of European standards yet deeply committing to the values of its own traditions, democracy, secularism, multiculturalism etc. I could only locate Malaysia which truly stands as a shining light, amidst all other success stories apart from its moderate Islam.

    Like

  7. ICE says:

    Yes, I read the Sydney Morning Herald publishing of leaks that confirm through an Australian secret informant by the name of Lee Kuan Yew confirmation by intercepting SIGINT (signal intelligence) that Anwar Ibrahim did in fact commit the offence of Sodomy.

    Can you name the source? It was said Malaysian Special Branch…!! Do you know why Lee Kuan Yew asked to meet Rosmah! Defence counsel Sankara Nair revealed that he and another Anwar lawyer, Karpal Singh, have had preliminary discussions over the whistle blower WikiLeaks expose about intelligence agents who believe the opposition leader was “set up” but that he “walked” into a trap.

    Dr Wikileaks had promised more than 1000 boms for Malaysia out of the 250,ooo instalments to be released in stages…We wanna to see how our doctor at home going to swallow the bitter tablets…

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      Your comments are a list of aspirational statements or to put it another way, a wish list something nasty will be revealed by Wikileaks about Dr. Mahathir in government. But why? is it because people like you and the opposition in Malaysia have failed all these years to come up with any proof or evidence of any credible substance that he is the demon you imagine him to be?

      Wikileaks information comprises mainly those intra governmental communications between the US state department and its operatives such as its ambassadors abroad and their views of third parties for private consumption. Trapped amonst these are the stooges of the US like Mark Arbib Australian government minister who also acts as a part time informer to the US through their embassy in Canberra. So too does Nicola Roxon Australia’s health minister. Each playing innocent as if it were the most natural thing to do because the “US is a friendly state”. Wrong!!!

      Also there are leaks about sensitive government and security operaitons abroad of which distorted details or complete fabrications of the truth were disseminated to their constituents in their electorates. Its about lies lies and more lies. it exposes their agents abroad like LKY and his views about aother agent of theirs Anwar. More will surface on the man but later.

      None of these fool understand the concept and value of sovereignty. Neither does Lee Kuan yew. But thats because he has always been a man of the people (other people like Britain, the US, Australia and the Kuomintang Chinese).

      As to the sources of the leak to Singapore’s intelligence on Anwar, it is Singapore’s local spies in Malaysia that obtained the information. Therein lies the problem for Singapore. It has by Lee’s admission and this Wikileak cable been spying on a friendly country, intercepting its government’s confidential communications.

      Thats a serious offence. A breach of trust. Karpal Singh and Shankar Nair could have as many discussions in their dreams with the “Whilstle blower” as you refer to some clown as. Wikileaks have been sifting through documents of value and documents with provable or plausible substance to it. The leaks are from and to people of substance. What substance do people like Shankar Nair or Karpal (when not drunk) have especially when relying on fools like Balasubramaniam and Raja Petra Kamaruddin. Wikileaks have a reputation to protect. It is not their place to protect the egos of incompetent egotistical lawyers like the three named.

      Not something that Balasubramaniam, Karpal, Siddhu and Nair have created in their own minds attempting to glorify their faded jaded status and skills as legal practitioners.

      What they Karpal, Nair and others hope to gain is some dirt that will help them prove that 1+1 =11. Thats the calibre of their legal skills. Its not just me but the entire world to watch these loud mouth brash but otherwise insignificant intellectual pygmies ply their trade for an equally intellectually dwarfed public who allow these clowns to inflict their ignorance on them.

      Like

  8. ICE says:

    Both ex Prime ministers, Mamak Mahathir as well as Lee, were both authoritarians. They have been additionally aged rivals as well as have criticized any others leadership. But they have one thing in common. Both depreciate Anwar. Anwar represents a brand new breed of politics.

    The gentle relationship in between Malaysia as well as Singapore is now glacial since of Wikileaks.

    L K Yew as well as Singapore, have been worried which if Pakatan forms a next government, Malaysia’s climb poses a direct plea to Singapore. Until recently, both Lee as well as Singapore know which Malaysia is no compare for Singapore politically as well as economically.

    Singapore views Malaysia as a corrupt as well as confused state, led by self-serving, opportunistic as well as amateurish leaders. Similar people have been simply bought.

    Why should Lee Kuan Yew, a brilliant tactician, give credence to injured comprehension granted by a Malaysian Special Branch to a Singapore comprehension service?

    He would since he knows which most people cling to upon to his each word just since he has transformed Singapore – success in Lees world perspective is quite economic. He would since when he was leader, he ruled with an iron-grip – recollect J.B. Jeyaretnam as well as a allegations of Devan Nair?

    LK Yew knows which if Anwar were to take over Putrajaya lead, after wards Malaysia becomes a biggest aspirant to Singapore.

    Malaysia underneath BN’s amateurish as well as opportunistic leaders is simply manipulated. Malaysia underneath Pakatan will be some-more difficult to handle.

    Today’s news … Mamak Mahathir admitted the world of information technology will haunt the world …. and he is willing to go to jail …. hahaha …

    Like

  9. Gopal Raj Kumar says:

    You make some observations which of themselves are devoid of any evidence or substance and are fanciful. Why would Malaysia want to be like Singapore? That is precisely the where the article exploits the known difference between the two styles of leadership. If you and I were to write in such terms in Singapore we would be discovered hounded and sued before being bankrupted and locked up. Thats the differene between their style and what Dr. M created.

    Anwar’s exploits are only confirmed by the Wiki leak. It attributes that document it leaked to Lee Kuan Yew’s commentary in another document where he admits Singapore’s intelligence intercepted (not in so many words) signal intelligence in Malaysia. Nothing about the special branch. Thats your fiction.

    The fact is Anwar’s perfidious character was known by friend and foe alike a long time ago. Read the Lingham tapes on this blog. Anmwar’s wife herself was aware of it and was the subject of an internet expose (since removed) of her alleged infidelity with an Australian or American journalist. It is something widely believed to be tolerated by the two in pursuit of a wider goal. A Hillary/ Bill type arrangement perhaps. Anwar is known to have engaged in anal sex from his time at college.

    Lee is a myth of his own making which is why he tolerates no inquiry or investigation into his life or business. Singapore is not as invincible as they make it out to be. Our local shopping centre with over 20 million visitors a week is more prsperous on an earnings per visitor per annum than Singapore is.

    From your assessments and fiction dare I conclude you are of Chinese extraction. Anwar can’t not control his own ego or his career let alone a nation of 27 million.

    Dream on my friend

    GRK

    Like

  10. skeptic says:

    Great article sir. A question though. How do you respond to people who might argue that we shouldnt judge on what he has done for malaysia but what he COULD have achieved? Some even say that the pot holes he left for the country were far greater and more dangerous than his achievements.

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      we would not. who is appropriately suited to judging what he (Dr.M) should have done?
      such reasoning is often by people who enjoy 20/20 hindsight. The essay is about a man with
      foresight and not hindsight. Thats what made him great (but thats my view).

      GRK

      Like

  11. whatever says:

    Dear friend , as much as u write , i beleive u wish some sparring. At times, it seems whats in your cranium is the only gospel truth out there. In that case ,u should just keep it there . u know the best and its best it serves u only . Cranium only.

    Like

  12. mekyam says:

    thank you, grk! great read. may i link this and subsequent part(s) in my facebook?

    Like

  13. Gopal Raj Kumar says:

    Meykam you have our consent to link this article to your facebook page.

    GRK

    Like

  14. Syed Izzaddin says:

    “He delivered to Islam the credibility it craved for decades, having eluded it for centuries being unfortunately and inextricably linked to the volatile, violent and unpredictability of middle-eastern politics”

    Though Tun Mahathir has done much through the years, it would seemed supercilious to state that he had brought credibility to Islam, as if the credibility of the religion ought to be in doubt in the first place.

    Regardless of the turmoil in the Middle-east ( happening since the dawn of time perhaps) the sanctity of Islam has always been set firm since its inception based on its teachings and values, as with other religions as well.

    Perhaps Mahathir is but one of many Muslims who has contributed in shaping some part of the Malaysia’s and the world’s history (though how he good or bad is very much debatable) but Islam is a great religion well before him with its credibility forever intact.

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      You may not agree with that statement but the facts remain that Islam in all its forms was like other religions hijacked by extremists and bigots and fed to largely ignorant masses. Its glory and truth hidden somewhere between man and his politics and the truth diversified in the ignorance of the masses that followed it under its various tyrannical regimes under the threat of violence. To deny that of any religion including Buddhism is to play the ostrich and thats your privilege.

      Islam’s credibility remains forever intact? really which one of the several branches of it do you refer to? No one is denying or asserting what others did for Malaysia or the rest of the world. This article is about Tun Mahathir Mohamed and his contribution to shaping modern Malaysia. It is not about the contribution of others whoever they are wherever they may be.
      Thank you for your opinion .

      GRK

      Like

  15. naragan says:

    Your analysis is as convoluted as Mahathir’s logic was, during his watch. Keep up the nonsense.

    Like

  16. Gopal Raj Kumar says:

    keep reading the ‘nonsense’. Others will read the facts.

    Like

  17. antibohmau says:

    thanks grk for a very interesting bio on Tun, the man who some ungrateful lots find pleasure in belittling his accomplishment. He ‘s the architect of progressive malaysia & i wonder who else would come next!

    please continue…

    Like

  18. GRK,

    Belated NY greetings. Waiting for the sequels!

    PS
    Linked this post whether you permit or not🙂

    Regards
    Freddie

    Like

  19. RD says:

    “He delivered to Islam the credibility it craved for decades, having eluded it for centuries being unfortunately and inextricably linked to the volatile, violent and unpredictability of middle-eastern politics”
    I agree with you, GRK.
    Dr.M also has the opinion that when someone puts-up an image, by attire or the untidy facial hair that reflects their religion, one must be very careful of his/her words & conduct, not to bring disgrace to it.
    Waiting for part 2, Sir.

    Like

  20. sting says:

    GRK,
    Thanks for writing this……excellent!.

    Like

  21. GRK,
    Tun MM’s bio is same titled as your post. Surely then you must have some insights into the MAN that we do not!

    Regards
    Freddie

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      I have not had the privilege of reading Tun Mahathir Mohamed’s bio that you say bears the same title to that of my essay on the man.
      Perhaps you could tell me where I could purchase a copy of his biography. If what you say here is true it is pure coincidence.

      GRK

      Like

    • grkumar says:

      I wrote the blog before his book came out. We knew he had been writing his memoirs. I saw him some months prior to its release
      then wrote my own which he read I believe. Whether he extracted the idea from my article or not may be pure coincidence. He is a
      man of great talent.

      GRK

      Like

  22. Launched yesterday and its all over town. Priced at Rm100.00, you might try MPH online to purchase. Cheers!

    Like

  23. Joe says:

    What an unbelievably objective and truthful article on the revered Dr Mahathir.

    Well done.

    Like

  24. Hantu Laut says:

    Well done,Kumar.This is probably the most honest and concise description of the man.Malaysians have much to thank him for taking us out of the backwaters and into a modern nation.

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      Sadly a growing number of ill informed and pathetically ignorant Malaysians
      do not appreciate the many achievements of the man. The allegations against him
      are from the Malaysian Bar mainly and those loosely referred to as opposition groups.
      Note with sadness that whilst Europe languishes in the economic disasters they created
      for themselves with their failed policies, Malaysia continues to thrive as a developing
      industrial democracy. But none of this is taken into consideration by his detractors
      whose only policy initiatives are the man and nothing else.

      The truth is that the Book by Barry Wain in large part credits the man for his achievements.
      Again Mahathir’s detractors extract selectively those passage in the book that are critical of him
      and suggest he may have not acted properly in office. It suggests this but proves nothing.
      Barry Wain is n admirer of Dr. Mahathir. But then again if you want you can read pornographic adult
      stories in the bible’s old testament too. Much depends on the angle one sees things from.

      Like

  25. Khalil Mohamed bin Nikah says:

    Sir, very well written… well researched, well scrutinised,well delivered,well done.. and well answered…certainly spicy and tasty leaving much to chew.
    Tun M is not only a doctor, he is a surgeon…operated upon without general anaesthetics.

    Like

    • grkumar says:

      But when mere mortals write of great people, greatness emerges from within them.
      I thank you for recognizing the greatness of the man. I accept the compliment that
      it was well written and well researched. We tried in the face of a mountains of rumours
      posing as fact, lies (for what they were), half truths parading as the whole truth and
      finally a face to face of 1 hour with the man to distill much of what we had absorbed.
      If just one person like you walked away satisfied after reading the article then it has been
      worth it. A labour of love.

      Like

  26. jetthapeterkhoo says:

    Man, are you all living in a dream world??? History will tell what irreversible damages he had done to the country….truth shall prevail!!! My goodness, are you all blind?

    Like

  27. Khalil Mohamed bin Nikah says:

    tun m is line wine becoming smoother over time. those who have not had it never will know its smoothness. that is why we observe closely at connoiseurs and appreciate them pour it all down…. beauty is thus in the eyes of the beholder…u dont have to drink it to appreciate it…just see how the connoiseur feels and feel with him…the smoothness,,the feeling..the authenticity..long live the righteous.

    Like

    • Peter khoo says:

      Mind you , some wine do get sour over time if the cork is not well screwed on!! And how do you know about wine being a Muslim? It’s haram to drink wine u know!

      Like

      • grkumar says:

        Shiraz originated from the middle east and was consumed even after the time of the prophet. What Muslim do you refer to? Wine has therapuetic properties and is consumed as a beverage and not as alcohol an agent to get you drunk which you sound like you are a self induced victim of. Shiraz is actually in Iran. There are many more but I can’t be bothered explaining every element of
        your doubt here. Do your own homework.

        Like

  28. Khalil Mohamed bin Nikah says:

    like wine over time

    Like

  29. ICE says:

    Hahaha, I am back again, nothing much to say about Mamak Mahathir, since he had himself admitted giving citizenship to illegals in East Malaysia during election time, not a joke GRK, he just did that to remain in power and ruin the country single handedly, a traitor waiting to be arrested, charged and jailed. In his own words he grumbled saying ” if the opposition comes to power they will arrest and jail all rivals, including myself”, GE13 will put him to trial….we are waiting…

    Like

  30. ICE says:

    Mahathir has criticized every prime minister of Malaysia from the late Tunku Abdul Rahman to the current PM Najib Razak, sparing no one except of course, himself.
    Mahathir has also criticized other world leaders including UK’s Tony Blair and of course George W Bush, the 43rd president of the United States.

    So far none of his local peers have swung back at him, which is not surprising considering that most a subservient and several are already dead and only Najib and Abdullah Badawi are alive. As for the international leaders, they have largely ignored his existence, which only adds to his frustration, but there is nothing he can do to them.
    However, he can make life miserable for his successors here, and this he is already doing.

    When he retired in 2003, after 22 years as PM, there was talk about his ‘great’ legacy and he was even called Bapa Pemodenan or Father of Modernization.

    Some 9 years after his retirement, the excesses and sheer ill-judgement of his economic, social and political decisions have come back to wallop the nation with a backlash stronger than the ferocious tsunami of 2006 that devastated much of Southern Asia.

    At 86, Mahathir is now reviled by most Malaysians, blamed for the massive corruption that may soon bankrupt the country if no remedial economic action is taken, and for the apartheid-scale racial fissures amongst the various ethnic groups in the country.

    RCI in Sabah is in the process of linking him to the IC gate scandal of which he admits.

    Like

    • RD. says:

      ICE.
      You must be out of your mind.
      There is too much hatred in you and its not good for your health. If you don’t get a grip of yourself, you might be spending the rest of you miserable life in Tanjung Rambutan.

      Politics is about ‘majority rules’ and who has the rights to govern the welfare and economic well-being of the people, nurture race relation, preserve the environment, fight corruption, fight crimes, fight religious extremist,…..etc.

      Why do hate Tun so much? Is it because, he is Malay?
      He is already a very old. He may not have much time to live.
      He does not have his son to watch his back like Lee Kuan Yew or Lim Kit Siang or Anwar Ibrahim or Nik Aziz. During his reign, he forbade his children to be involved in politics.

      Have you heard Tun or the BN govt. threatening to arrest and jail anybody? Politics is not just about revenge.
      An eye for an eye, will leave everybody blind.

      I hope you are not that blind.

      Like

  31. AH says:

    Very well penned, indeed! A good read.

    Syabas to GRK.

    Like

  32. ICE says:

    This senile old man has hoodwinked Malaysian for since he came into UMNO and then PM for 22 years on bogus votes. He is not a Malay but a Keralite. GE13 will see him arrested and punished for project IC and all mother of scandals…

    Like

    • ICE.
      Only racist like you, keeps harping on ethnicity. There is no mention in the Federal Constitution that a PM must be from any specific breed.

      From the RCI, it is known that 12 immigration officers were detained under ISA for selling IC to foreigners. Yet they are willing to accept some of these criminals as witnesses.

      Tun Dr.M was about to resign, somewhere in 2006, and he took a 2 months vacation. He was giving your ‘Rear Admiral’ on job training as PM. That’s when your ‘Anugerah Tuhan’ gave easy citizenship in Sabah.

      You better be careful of what you wish for.

      Like

  33. khalil mohamed nikah says:

    He that hath fathomed the depths of sorrow and scaled the heights of joy is MAHATHIR. He was great before and greater now and will go down in history as the greatest man ever who lived at that time. What he has done and is doing and will do no living mortal has the know how leave alone the guts to do. You all did love him once without cause what witholds you then to keep on loving him. I loved the man and I love him still. A great man’s greatness is seen by the way he treats little men. Thats what made him great he had the discipline to see all as little men and he succeeded in placing Malaysia on the World Map. Thank You Sir Mahathir. This Sir is for the Teacher Mahathir who has taught us all from wrong to right. Thank You Sir Mahathir. MAHATHIR THE MAHAGURU.

    Like

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