Monday, July 20, 2020

Time to move on from Dr M


Time to move on from Dr M

by S Thayaparan

Analysts: Too soon to write off Dr M | Malaysia | Malay Mail

"There's no need to beat on our chests and muddy the waters anymore. There's no need to insult and disparage. Let's move on, the country needs healing."

- Former youth and sports minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman on Zakir Naik

"Whenever he comes he betrays, Wherever he goes he destroys" 😡😡😡

- Kaytee Moc

Reading all this commentary on the recent political plays by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is a constant reminder of how Pakatan Harapan has failed. More importantly, it gives the Perikatan Nasional government the sideshow it needs while it contorts into a semblance of a functional government - because it, at least, seems coherent by comparison.

When the former prime minister and alleged kleptocrat Najib Abdul Razak came off sounding reasonable in his rejection of Mahathir’s narrative of why he quit as prime minister, one should realise how far Harapan has fallen.

1MDB case must be watertight, says Malaysia's Mahathir | Din ...

PKR lawmaker Noor Amin Ahmad should have the last word in this sordid mess when he took to Twitter, reminding everyone that things would have been different if Mahathir had not resigned. In other words, Harapan may have been able to scramble together a coalition, but it would be the same old Harapan that was attempting to create a Neo-BN, instead of a New Malaysia.

Laying the blame on Anwar Ibrahim, post-Sheraton Move, is the “dog ate my homework” of excuses. If Mahathir and the factions that support him were interested in “saving Malaysia” from PN, then they would throw their support behind Anwar and broker a deal, instead of continuing to act as proxies for the old maverick.

Now, some folks think it’s best to have Mahathir on the inside. This brings to mind what former US president Lyndon B Johnson said of that cretin and long-deceased FBI director J Edgar Hoover: "I'd rather have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.”

The problem is that no matter where Mahathir stands or says he stands, the old maverick was always causing problems for his allies. Very quickly after the election, it became obvious that Mahathir was still playing by his own rules and all those voices pre-election were muted, embroiled in their own battles of grappling with a bureaucracy that was attempting to find its new master.

The fact that Malay power brokers, warlords and the assorted swamp dwellers in Putrajaya are openly jeering the former prime minister is demonstrative of how the mighty have fallen. Mahathir could have been the father of a new Malaysia. I truly believed that such is his political acumen that if he truly wanted reforms, he would have been the person to carry them out. Even more so than Anwar.

Want to know what I think is a blessing in disguise? It’s if Malay power has truly weaned itself off Mahathir. If this is not some sort of a shadow play and Malay hegemons are really throwing themselves behind someone else besides the person who, for better or worse, defined their political identity for years. I just hope that the non-Malays have the scrotal fortitude to do the same.

As someone who publicly supported the former prime minister before the elections, while my comrades who for years bore the brunt of the Mahathir state were aghast, I admit that we conned folks into believing that there was a silver lining to aligning with the former prime minister, who Nurul Izzah Anwar had called a dictator.

When Nurul Izzah (above) gave that interview with the Straits Times, where she said working with the old maverick was difficult and that she was heartbroken, this should have been a warning sign to Harapan. Instead, it became a moment where political operatives were bending over backwards, attempting to blame her for airing dirty linen in public and in the Singapore press, of all places.

Even now, on his birthday, Mahathir continued with narratives that have destroyed the discourse in this country and distorted policy when it comes to the majority polity. The reasons why the “Malays” are the way they are is because of Mahathir. He never had a problem calling Malays lazy and jealous of wealthier Malays but at the same time, enabled their worst excesses because it suited him politically. Are you going to blame Anwar for this too?

How about if Mahathir had just committed to the Harapan reforms and did not plot and scheme as if he was a young politician with a future, instead of an alleged kleptocrat and avowed strongman who was given a shot to change his record? He would have been remembered as the father of New Malaysia instead of a traitor who rode roughshod over those who voted Harapan.

Now his acolytes who remain with him are under investigation by the state. Azmin Ali, who the old maverick stamped his imprimatur on and who, by the way, the old maverick has still not condemned, is closing in on an endgame. Harapan, because it lacks an ideological foundation and political operatives committed to reform, are in a weaker position now than they were when they were in power.

Survey after survey has demonstrated that young people believe that their votes do not matter. Both coalitions have made it their agendas to prove young people right. Young people have so much political power in this country, but as long as their apathy is enforced, the longer this kakistocracy remains in place.

Harapan should forget about the old maverick. They should concentrate on building a multi-racial narrative with an emphasis on alleviating the social-economic issues facing the Malay polity because of the failing race-based and corruption-riddled policies of Umno/BN/PN.

Ultimately, what we do now as a multi-racial alternative will determine the kind of country the majority of polity will live in the future.

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


  1. Yes KT, time to move on from Toonsie but betcha you won't ha ha ha....

    1. if he fades from the scene I will, but if he doesn't, wakakaka

  2. Wakakakakaka…

    Mamak can fade away ONLY when he puts rosnajib to their bamboo river resort for life.

    The goal of finishing umno is too far & humongous NOW for him to complete.

  3. Wow...Mr Thayap is speaking plainly in this very clear concise English and easily grasped by all and sundry. What a coincidence since I had complained about this just recently.

    Bravo Mr Thayap. And his exhortation for the voices of the young be heard and counted..I wholeheartedly agree.