Mahathir’s Look East Policy is still on

 |Jan 13, 2017
Mahathir's Look East Policy that started some 30 years ago has not officially ended.
Mahathir’s Look East Policy that started some 30 years ago has not officially ended.

What Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said was actually very true.

I have read many comments by critics of Prime Minister Najib Razak alleging that he had sold Malaysia to the Chinese.

Some even argue that this is the reason why Malaysia should promote Chinese education and Chinese schools.

Look East

When Mahathir Mohamad took over as Prime Minister in 1981, the first thing he did was to launch the Look East Policy.

Basically Mahathir wanted to reduce Malaysia’s dependence on Europe and the West and shift it to Japan, South Korea and Taiwan instead (in the early 1980s China was not yet an economic power).

He even sent one of his sons to Japan for his education, who Mahathir hopes was going to be the next prime minister of Malaysia.

The bottom line is Mahathir saw Japan, South Korea and Taiwan (China not included yet at that time) as the new emerging economic powers while Europe and the West were in their sunset years.

So Mahathir wanted to be on the side of the winners and not on the side of the losers.

Today, China is where Japan, South Korea and Taiwan were 40 years or so ago.

Mahathir never made any official announcement that Malaysia’s Look East Policy has ended and that we should now look elsewhere.

Hence, based on Mahathir’s Look East Policy, it is logical that China be added to the list of the other eastern countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.

Is Look East was a mistake?

Is Mahathir saying that his Look East Policy was a huge mistake and actually made it worse for Malaysia during the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, like some people alleged?

That is what some experts say so Mahathir was free to admit or deny this.

Malaysia is estimated to have lost between RM100 billion to RM200 billion due to Mahathir’s stupid economic policies, alleged many people, which today was worth three times that amount.

Mahathir started the Look East Policy 36 years ago.

The Look East Policy, just like his Wawasan 2020, is still applicable and has never been officially ended.

So what is the big deal about China being added to the list of countries such as Japan, South Korea and Taiwan?

Or is this just another excuse to attack Najib since the 1MDB issue was unable to bring down the prime minister?

What surprises is many Chinese attack Najib and accuse him of selling Malaysia to the Chinese.

If I were to criticise Najib for ‘selling’ Malaysia to the Chinese by allowing Chinese education and Chinese schools in Malaysia I can bet you RM1 million that the Chinese will label me a racist.

Apa lagi Cina mahu? – Malaysia Today

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Raja Petra Kamarudin or RPK, cousin to the Selangor Sultan, is one of Malaysia's earliest online 'citizen journalists'. He started his website in 1995 before the internet 'explosion' triggered by the Reformasi movement in September 1998. Malaysia Today was launched as a blog in August 2004 and is one of the few pioneer blogs still active and posting articles on a daily basis 24-7. RPK, 66 years old, has been writing since 1990.