Saturday, March 12, 2011

The mindset of Dr Mahathir?

Though he has ‘retired’ (wakakaka) for seven years, he has managed during that time to destroy the political ‘life’ of a PM (his politically short-lived successor Abdullah Badawi) and is perceived to be controlling (and helping) that of another, his protégé PM Najib Razak. We’re naturally talking about the one and only Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s longest serving PM.

Since the recent release of his memoirs, ‘A Doctor in the House’, there has been a flurry of both praises of wonderment and criticisms of the severest order about his side of the story – also see my previous posts
Ku Li losing UMNO's presidency - a different story? and Dr Mahathir - Malays, Mamaks & Malaysians.

Now Josh Hong adds to the range of articles commenting on Dr M’s memoirs, though Josh qualified his piece in his Malaysiakini column as only a preliminary comment as he hasn’t yet finished reading Dr M's book.

Josh wrote succinctly in his MKINI essay
Mahathir’s colonial mind, the title encapsulating Josh’s impression of Dr M’s mindset, as follows:

Most importantly, when the Malays finally found the bravery for change in the wake of the judicial crisis and police violence in 1998/1999, it was Mahathir that was shocked and terrified. Since then, he has been denouncing the people that he claims to love for their “betrayal”, “ungratefulness” and “rebellion”.

I never dispute that all colonial powers prefer timid, submissive, simple and changeless subjects because to rule over them would be a no-brainer. It just so happens that, after years of “racial engineering”, more and more people now find Mahathir's mindset is no different from that of the colonialists. The only thing is that the old man will perhaps never want to admit that.

Ironically, as Josh averred, Mahathir chastised the colonialists because they “liked the idea of a simple and changeless Malay world”, which was responsible for Malay backwardness. But if Josh assertion of Dr M having a mindset which is no different from that of the colonialists, then we have to draw the conclusion that both Dr M and his depised colonialists had shared the same preference for "timid, submissive, simple and changeless subjects" to easily rule them.

If such had been the case, then wouldn’t his accusation of the colonialists be a reflection of his own confused attitude?

There were several other criticisms of Dr M but the one meriting a mention here as well is Josh’s mention that:

Mahathir was right to observe that the lack of a good education had been a bane for rural Malays, but failed to see significant segments of the non-Malay communities were equally in need of it.

In his early years as education minister, his immediate concern was to reach out to poor Malays. For some bewildering reasons, he was persistently unable to identify indigenous, Indian, and Chinese children living in abject poverty. Their numbers might have been comparatively small, but it was nevertheless unjustifiable to overlook their needs.

In my earlier post, I stated that I admire Dr M most for 3 issues. In this post I need to criticise Dr M most for an equal three, namely:

(a) He left the poor nons (especially the Indians) by the wayside,

(b) He failed to apologise to Lim Guan Eng for the injustice done to the latter who was jailed (during his time as PM) for defending an underage Malay girl against the rapacious lust of an UMNO man, and

(c) His current divisive emphasis on race and why we cannot be equal Malaysians (without ignoring the need for affirmative action BUT on a needs basis).


  1. You wrote: "He left the poor nons (especially the Indians) by the wayside."

    Your remark above started me thinking. Trawling the Net and noting the remarks made by others alluding to his seeming denial of his Indian roots, and noting also his rather "curious" silence about his father (an Indian) - it's like he never existed! - while making appreciative references to his mother on a number of occasions, I can't help but indulge in a spot of arm-chair psycho-analytic speculation. That is, has he had a difficult, strained relationship with his old man during his childhood and formative years thus leading to his grown-up coolness towards things Indian? I wonder whether he made any mention at all about his father in his autobiography.

  2. According to this blog - just click here to view it - Ku Li doesn't feel too impressed with Dr. M's memoir. ;-)

  3. For all his ferocity in attacking Anwar and his staunchness in ensuring his chosen one take over his post, he is surely seen as one trying to cover all his skeletons in the cupboards he left behind.

  4. for 2, it is engineered by him. The rapist is one of his trusted men. One trait of Mahatir. If you are his loyalist, he is prepared to assist even if it means breaking the law. thats why he killed the judiciary independence.

  5. Due to excessive inbreeding on the part of his Keralan anscestors, his mind has now gone haywire. He will next claim that the Mossad sent hired killers after him for his serial Antisemitism

  6. Doctor in the house
    He forgot he left the building
    Ages ago without his stethoscope
    He couldn't remember the rights and wrongs

    He wanted to make his footprints
    He knew the concrete walls would fall
    In words published to the general public
    He could feel he make it on his own

    In the RCI he claimed he couldn't remember
    How could he know the past of many decades ago?
    Without his stethoscope he couldn't tell....
    So he could be trying to imprint his signature

    Corporations will buy his book
    The companies chairmen and CEOs owing him that
    The people will buy the book
    They wanted to know what rights and wrongs

    For me he played the game
    The divide and rule mantra of colonial past
    He knew he could put down the race
    So he could taste his power and his way

    Doctor in the house
    Puppets of comedy stringing by a master
    Dancing all to his tunes and vision
    Now tremors cracking the walls

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  9. Why no condemnation of this vile art by ktemoc? Had the family been Arab, then things would have been different....,8599,2058660,00.html

  10. A commentator posted that her father-in-law went to the same primary school as Dr M and in fact was in the same class then.

    It seemed Dr M as a child then used to shed tears and cried when his classmates teased him of being a mamak.

    And when he was studying in Singapore U, there were accounts of his interest in a chinese girl and was spurned, either by the girl or her parents, or both.

    And in one interview in the MSM, Dr M himself recounted that one of the reasons why he married Dr Siti Hasmah was because she has fair skin.....hehehe

    To know how a man will turn out, whether he is racist and an opportunist, just go back to his childhood and growing up phase.

  11. Dear KTemoc,

    "He failed to apologise to Lim Guan Eng for the injustice done to the latter who was jailed (during his time as PM) for defending an underage Malay girl against the rapacious lust of an UMNO man"

    I believe he was vindicated.

    Thank you