Many Malaysians do not pay attention to what Mahathir Mohamad has been saying and doing these last 50 years.
You cannot just take what the old man says or does today or yesterday.
You must look at his entire 50 years track record and aggregate all his actions.
Of course, some smaller minds will argue that we cannot take into consideration what he did in the past because he is a changed man and he is now a different Mahathir.
If you believe that then you must also believe in the tooth fairy.
Only idiots would believe that Mahathir at 92 is a different Mahathir from the Mahathir of 42 years old.
Now, pay attention because I am going to remind you about what Mahathir said and show you that the Mahathir of the 1960s was still the same Mahathir today.
Years ago Mahathir said that there was nothing in the Federal Constitution of Malaysia that forbids non-Malays, non-Muslims and/or non-males from becoming the prime minister (PM) of Malaysia.
The only criteria is the PM must be one of the 222 MPs (not merely a senator like a normal cabinet minister) and must have the confidence of the majority MPs of the House (which means at least 112 MPs).
That is all that is required, said Mahathir.
So the PM can be an Indian, Hindu woman and it is perfectly legal and constitutional as long as 112 MPs have no objections to her appointment.
Now, the second thing that Mahathir has always argued is that there was no mention in the constitution regarding a deputy prime minister (DPM).
It is silent.
The Constitution only mentions a cabinet.
Hence, said Mahathir, you do not even need to appoint a DPM.
Malaysia needs to have only a PM and a cabinet.
The appointment of a DPM is not a constitutional requirement like a PM and the cabinet.
So a PM can do without a DPM or he can appoint two, three, four or five DPM if he so wishes.
Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did not have a deputy until Jan 7, 2004.
So, from Nov 1, 2003, Abdullah was in office for more than two months without a deputy.
Legally and constitutionally Abdullah could have remained in office until the end of his term without a deputy, although that may not be the most prudent action to take in case anything happens to the PM.
So, as Mahathir said, the PM does not need to appoint a deputy or he can have five deputies.
It is entirely the prerogative of the PM and is not a legal requirement.
These deputies (plus the PM as well) can be male, female, Muslim, non-Muslim, Malay, non-Malay, gay, straight, bi-sexual, transgender, or whatever.
That is the legal and constitutional aspect to the whole thing.
So why is Lim Kit Siang so upset about the revelation that he and Mahathir have made a deal for him to become the DPM and finance minister?
Is that illegal or unconstitutional?
As what Malaysiakini said yesterday, “Apa salahnya DAP jadi TPM?” (What’s wrong if DAP becomes DPM?).
Correct! Nothing salah.
Why threaten to sue and make so much noise when it was revealed that Kit Siang was going to become the DPM and finance minister if Pakatan Harapan wins the next general election (GE14) and marches into Putrajaya?
Mahathir has already pointed out many years ago that the constitution allows for this.
in that sense Mahathir has been very consistent.
Mahathir said today he was not anti-Chinese.
That is probably true.
Abuse of NEP
Many Chinese (and Indians also) became millionaires and millionaires became billionaires because of Mahathir.
In 1982, not long after he became PM, Mahathir told the Malays that the New Economic Policy (NEP) had only eight years left and he was going to make sure it ended in 1990 as scheduled.
This was the promise made to the non-Malays, said Mahathir.
It is not fair to the non-Malays to extend the NEP beyond 1990.
I was there in that function in the Equatorial Hotel in Kuala Lumpur so I am a witness to this.
Then, in 1990, Mahathir ended the NEP by changing its name and nothing more.
The reason he did not really want to end it was because the NEP was being abused and exploited to rip off the country.
Take the APs as one example.
Under the excuse of the NEP, APs were being given to a small number of cronies and billions were being made every year.
Yes, billions, and by now it has totalled hundreds of billions.
In short, Mahathir did not end the NEP other than merely changing its name because his trustees, nominees, proxies and cronies were making tons of money, which they could not make if they did not have the NEP.
Under the umbrella of the NEP Mahathir embarked on a privatisation policy where even more money was made – hundreds of billions!
Why do you think so many towkays support Mahathir?
Why do you think they are prepared to provide him a war chest of RM10 billion to topple Prime Minister Najib Razak?
RM10 billion is a scratch on the surface of what they made through Mahathir.
It does not even come to 5%.
Even if it did what was 5% when the balance 95% runs into hundreds of billions, enough money for the next five generations?
Now, only the menteri besar (MB) must be Malay-Muslim (but need not even be male, which was why DAP wanted Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the Selangor MB).
Chief ministers, cabinet ministers, the PM, DPM, etc., need not be Malay-Muslim.
So Mahathir was not wrong in wanting Kit Siang to be appointed the DPM and finance minister.
No doubt after announcing that Kit Siang will be made DPM, he did a u-turn and said he was mistaken and that it was MCA and not DAP who wanted the post of DPM.
Mahathir did a u-turn because Kit Siang told him to.
Mahathir has no choice but to do what Kit Siang says because he needs DAP votes for Pribumi to win some seats in the next general election.
If not Pribumi would get zero seats.
It is a crying shame to see Mahathir reduced to DAP’s running dog and see him take orders from Kit Siang.
If you had told me three years ago that Mahathir was going to be Kit Siang’s bitch, as they say in the west, I would have said you are crazy. Now it is not so crazy after all.
I suppose that is what happens when you have nothing left.
You will even sell your dignity or maruah just to stay alive.
But then Mahathir actually lost his maruah back in 2008 when he gave Penang to DAP just so that he could oust Abdullah from office.