Dr Mahathir has a few rounds of ammunition left yet, just to show us he’s no yesterday’s man. In my previous posting More WMDs from Dr Mahathir, he revealed to the embarrassment of the current PM that it had been the Malaysian cabinet which had opened its legs, one of sand and the other of airspace, kang-kang (wide open), prostituting Malaysia to Singapore.
We also know from his whistle-blowing that Singapore had been complicit with some powerful Malaysian(s) in pretending to be the party that had demanded Malaysia opened her legs.
Then the ole man started shooting (or sniping) again, saying when he was PM, he didn’t permit his family (wife, sons or daughter) to be involved with government businesses. He stated: “If you allow your children to get business from the government, then people will not take kindly to that.”
He forbid his sons to be in politics while he was the PM. He said: “I didn’t want to give the impression that I’m creating a dynasty.”
You can guess who he had been targeting, though he averred he was just talking on general principles. He declined to advise anyone, least of all his handpicked successor, PM Abdullah Badawi, on following his example.
In the interview with Malaysiakini, Mahathir defended his much-criticised mega-projects. He said that critics failed to recognise projects such as the Penang Bridge, Kuala Lumpur International Airport, and the administrative capital of Putrajaya were ‘built for the future’.
He advised: “When you want to build something, don’t build for the present. Build for the future.”
Malaysiakini reader KSN who wrote in to its Vox Populi column agreed with his philosophy on infrastructure, but it was a sweet and sour acknowledgement. Bitterly, and that's what sweet & sour would turn out to be, KSN said:
The only credit, I will give Dr M is his infrastructure development, especially the highways, but at what cost to the people, like giving the highway operators blank cheques to increase tolls until doomsday at their whims and fancies!
Corruption flourished, favouritism and cronyism were rampant. He filled the civil service across the board - including the judiciary, the institutions of higher learning - with people from one race, inept, incompetent, submissive and obedient gentlemen, denying the non-Malays their legitimate representation. I can even accept if the Malays were given 60% and the balance to the other races. He did not. He gave them all. He played into the hands of PAS to show he and UMNO was more Islamic, and to cap it all, he declared Malaysia an Islamic state, when it is not. I can go on and on.
The damage Dr M has done to the country far outweighs the good he has done a few thousand times. Ask him about the above, and every Malaysian will be interested to read his answer and his justification. Tell him that he has missed a great opportunity to make this country great and become the greatest PM ever, but alas, he threw all that away because of misguided policies and ego. He is no democrat and there is nothing great about him. He is obviously very intelligent but no intellectual, by any measure.
Most certainly Mahathir is not an easy man for many Malaysians to forget his ‘past’ or forgive his collateral damage along the way. Last year on 11 September I opined about Dr Mahathir in Mahathir: Unforgettable & Unforgivable.
Do you think I had hit the Mahathir nail on its head?
But I did say somewhat presciently: “But no worries, we’ll continue to hear from and about him.”
And indeed we have.