Mahathir wants to save Malaysia, isn’t it not a good idea?

 |Aug 18, 2016
Mahathir to save Malaysia?
Mahathir to save Malaysia?

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants to save Malaysia.

Good idea, isn’t it not?

Pakatan Harapan leaders and other politicians like Zaid Ibrahim have all joined Mahathir’s bandwagon to oust Prime Minister Najib Razak and Barisan Nasional federal government, and save Malaysia.

But the problem is the man who wants to save Malaysia, of all people, is Dr Mahathir.

One could recall during election campaigns in the 1980s and into the 90s, DAP supremo and nomadic politician Lim Kit Siang frequently condemned Mahathir’s rule, or rather misrule, with venom.

Kit Siang favourite bashing taglines then were “hegemony”, “dictator” and “authoritarian.”

Whether Kit Siang remembered all these he had said is immaterial.

But the people remember.

Now, the irony of all, Kit Siang is rubbing shoulders with Mahathir to save Malaysia.

What Mahathir exactly wants to save Malaysia from when he had been in a way an abject failure as the prime minister between 1981 and 2003?

From 1981 to 1988, by the end of his first seven years in power, Mahathir has allegedly doubled Malaysia’s unemployment rate and somehow managed to plunge the country into recession and inflation.

He allegedly ran the highest budget deficits in Malaysian history; doubled the country’s debt above the key 100% debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio, doubled the foreign debt and the stock market dropped by half.

He allegedly misused Maminco, destroyed the tin industry, among the country’s main export revenue then, carried so many mega meaningless projects.

He allegedly mismanaged the tragic Memali incident resulting in the deaths of 18 civilians and police officers, and forced the resignation of his deputy and a senior minister; sacked three other full ministers, including former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and four deputy ministers during the Muslim holy month of Ramadhan.

He is accused by many to have cheated billions of Bumiputra shares from EPF via Makuwasa and allowed BMF to collapse with RM2.5b of debt.

Everyone knows Mahathir destroyed the judiciary system and he allegedly almost allowed a full-blown racial riot before throwing more than 100 persons in jail under the draconian ISA in a swift operation called Ops Lalang in 1987.

He banned prominent newspapers including Sin Chew, Watan and The Star, split Umno half and caused it to be declared illegal.

At that time, two ex-Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Hussein Onn, his DPM and finance minister thought Mahathir was a bad leader.

All in all, Mahathir’s 22 years saw two very severe economic crashes and three major slowdowns – including one where the stock market fell 80% in months and there was a need to implement danaharta and danamodal to save public listed companies and banks from collapsing.

Let’s not forget the billions lost in foreign exchange (forex) speculation foray

The list goes on. Now it makes many Malaysians wonder on whether to save Malaysia from Mahathir !!!

But at age over 90, he wants to oust Najib and save Malaysia?

For whom and for what, only he and his group of minions know?

But one thing is clear that he had no issue to pick on the current Barisan Nasional federal government, except for the 1Malaysia Development Board (1MDB).

Inevitably Pakatan Harapan leaders and supporters, who were bankrupt of ideas anyway, have also fallen into this 1MDB trap, and parroting and recycling the same issue over and over again with new flavour.

As if nothing else matters, 1MDB is the rule of the day.

So one can notice currently his minions had been working overtime to keep the issue relevant among Malaysians.

Filing suits and daily rants against 1MDB are their standard operating procedures.

Mahathir has also formed a new Parti Pribumi Bersatu as a political vehicle for his son to spearhead an all-out attack on Najib.

It’s learnt that Mahathir had planned to force Najib to call for a snap general election early 2017.

Knowing Najib, he will be quiet for some time until his detractors would believe that he had finally been cornered.

Then suddenly he will pounce and tear them apart like a tiger.

One can realise that all the contemptuous attacks on Najib earlier on had disappeared since he started to retaliate with a forceful vengeance against his detractors.

Now his detractors are crying foul that they had been victimised and witch-hunted.

In a war, if one dares to attack and slaughter, one must be prepared to be attacked and even slaughtered.

Political licence is not only to kill but to be killed too.

So don’t cry foul during war times.

Can daddy deliver the promise land?
Can daddy deliver the promise land?

Can Mahathir reach out Malaysians, save Malaysia and safely deliver the promise land for his son, Mukhriz?

Even if Mahathir failed in the next general election, he has at least resurrected Mukhriz political career with a new party.

Thus Mukhriz has a platform now to continue his political foray, thanks to daddy, for next general election and beyond.

So Malaysia has a potential future opposition leader in town.

Who cares on whether or not Mukhriz was qualified to be the prime minister in first place.

Who cares whether or not he can deliver.

Never mind if he was said to be a failure as Kedah Menteri Besar.

Never mind even if it was true that Malaysian resources were misused during Mahathir’s premiership to enrich certain people.

Never mind if Kit Siang once condemned Mahathir but now working hand-in-hand with him for mutual interests.

It’s almighty Mahathir calling, so Malaysians must heed to it.

Isn’t it not!!!

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Athi Shankar has been a journalist for past 30 years. He believes that democratic rights come with responsibility.