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Friday, May 23, 2008

What Gives, Dr M?

Developments within UMNO are intriguing and, much as we would wish for it to be otherwise, have an impact on all of us. The President of UMNO by convention becomes the Prime Minister. UMNO politics also impacts throughout the Barisan Nasional for the opportunities and risks that internal political upheaval presents to coalition members. This has been particularly true in the period after March 8th. The dismal performances of Gerakan, MCA and MIC have been, in part, blamed for the claw-back of political power to the Pakatan Rakyat even as they reconsider their own ideologies and positioning.

These parties forming the Government, it stands to reason that upheavals within UMNO translate into possible repercussions for the nation, in perception if not in fact. The Malaysian commercial world appears to have gone into quasi-hibernation mode, adopting a wait and see stance as it attempts to assess the situation and its risks. Malaysians seem to be talking of nothing else but UMNO and what is going to happen.

I am certain that I am stating the obvious, especially for someone like Tun Dr Mahathir. In thay vein, I am equally confident that that these factors would have been taken into consideration as he developed the strategy that is now unfolding. Above all, Dr M, as he come to be known to us, was a master tactician. There is no reason to believe that he has lost the talent.

The aggressive and very public campaign against the Prime Minister prior to the Election, the way in which the campaign was heightened after the Election to leverage off weakening support for Abdullah Badawi caused by the disappointing shock results, the sudden resignation from UMNO and Mukhriz's breaking of ranks within Parliament are all part of the tactical play that is now unfolding. Dr M is playing to a gallery far bigger than merely UMNO. The nation watches, holding its breath, and he knows it. This has opened up another flank of the Prime Minister as he now not only has to ward of internal attacks but has to also to shore up the support of the wider nation, an important factor in his own push to retain his presidency of UMNO.

Some would say that this is masterful. Judging by the comments that have been left at Dr M's blog, he is even more firmly entrenched in the minds of some as the saviour of the nation.

And this is where I am thrown into confusion. What exactly is Dr M unhappy about, what it is that he would have had the Abdullah Badawi do differently? The obvious answer on the lips of those that oppose Abdullah Badawi is that he lost the Elections in part due to his weakness as a leader and in part due to alleged handing over of control to his family. Though Dr M seems to have his sights on something less obvious, something that pre-dates the Election, he is for the moment satisfied with the opportunity the election failure provides to rally support against Abdullah Badawi.

Let us assume for purposes of argument that both the obvious grounds are made out. They do not however in themselves explain why the support of the rakyat shifted in the way it did. They do not go to explaining nor justifying the fact that UMNO had become detached from reality, that UMNO big-wigs had become so arrogant and so drunk with power that they appear to have lost sight of the fact that they were there to serve the party and their constituencies, that race and religion had become so politicised that they threatened to divide the nation, that corruption had become endemic, that systems had either broken down or were close to it to a point where Malaysians no longer had institutions to turn to to solve their problems AND that many Malaysians of all races were suffering from a widening poverty gap, spiraling inflation and a total loss of hope.

And above all, these grounds do not go far in explaining away the very real fact that many, if not all, these and associated problems, had their roots in the Mahathir Administration. Abdullah Badawi inherited the efidice that Mahathir left him as well as a nation that was struggling against a cancer that Dr M had allowed it to be infected with.

That does not absolve Abdullah Badawi of any fault, he appears to have embraced the benefits of a skewed system with gusto and was equally willing to rely on repressive measures that Dr M himself has relied on as thousands of persons who were tear gassed or water cannoned and the HINDRAF 5 would testify to. As some would say, membership has its privileges. Abdullah Badawi however found out that no measure of spin-doctoring and empty rhetoric could hide the fact of his membership of this exclusive club of one.

It was as such only a matter of time before the rakyat got to their tipping points. It was apparent that when Malaysians could no longer hold their heads up high with dignity due to the overwhelming burden of a range of factors, from religion to personal security, economic or otherwise, they would turn away in search of alternatives. This was a road that Dr M had put them on.

I had thought that the only people who could not see this, it would seem, were the leaders within the Barisan Nasional. It would seem I was wrong, Dr M appears to have been, and still is, oblivious to it.

Dr M may wish to remind himself that Abdullah Badawi led the Barisan Nasional to a significant win in the 2004 Elections (I will refrain from calling it a landslide win until we can be assured that the Election was free and fair in all senses of the expression) and that he did so for one primary reason: he promised a substantial reform of the system that Dr M had left behind. Abdullah Badawi's failure this Election was caused by a failure to deliver on the promises he made. Put another way, he failed to overhaul Dr M's system the way he said he would.

Is Dr M saying that he should have? Or perhaps he is saying that he should never have even talked of reforms.



Anonymous said...

What u say is a lot of bullshit. Dr. M left a system that was working well for Badawi and Badawi took advantage of the system by making lots of empty promises to further improve the system. As a result, he got that landslide victory back in 2004. However instead of improvement, the system malfunctioned badly due to mismanagement resulting in the recent political tsunami. This is the fundamental answer to the many questions that is being thrown up regarding the reasons for the huge election losses suffered by BN in 2008.As to the reasons to why the system malfuntioned badly, there is no need for explanation, it was plain for all to see.

Anonymous said...

Dr.M thinks he is almighty and the appointment of PM post is his divine right.He forgot once out of power, his influence diminishes and there is no more power to show and distribute.I don't think there is any proud legacy to talk about Dr.M other than his ego and undiplomatic self.For every good deeds he has done for the nation, there are two disdeeds.Ask our conscience,if Badawi is to undone his many misdeeds,is it good for the Malaysians. Dr.M can fool the people at that time but I don't think he can fool us all the time.

CHee XtheMan said...

what you say bullshit..bullshit.
Dr M left a "system that working well" ... my ass la you have not talk from your bottom of your heart .... i see he left tons of shits .... the system with virus affected and coz raykat big times.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...

I am happy to entertain comments on this blog on this very contentious subject. I hope that these can be stated graciously and not anonymously. Thus far I have allowed comments through. I will stop doing this if I feel that things are getting out of hand.


malayamuda said...

Anonymous ,

See you are blind and deaf to whats happenig around you.

If Tun Dr Mahathir led the BN in 2004, what happened in the 12th GE wld have happened in the 11th GE itself.

The reason why AAB won the elections was bcos of his supposedly clean image and since he was a new leader the opposition could not harp on many " old " issues left behind by dear old great Dr Mahathir.

And there was a feel good feeling where in people had new hopes esp since he made many " empty " but feel good promises.

He did not win the 2004 elections bcos of Mahathir.

Why did Mahathir cry when he announced his resignation in 2002 ? bcos he cld feel the pressure mounting and people wanted him out. Why did he not cry when he resigned from UMNO in 2008 ?

Mahathir messed up many of the institutions left behind by Tunku, Tun Razak and Hussein before him.......and now its payback time, heard of Karma ??

The world is round, what you do to others, will be done back to you.....

Anonymous said...

We are where we are, very much due to folks like "anonymous" whom political judgement and common sense are just laughable. Mahathir is the WORST thing ever happened to the history of Malaysia. He institionalised corrupt practices, destroyed the core of judiciary, plundered the wealth of Malaysia as a country, jailed his dissidents, at all costs pursued what we wanted with no heart for the Rakyat's well being......Much much relief is that we do have more and more people like "Chee xtheman" are emerging who are able to discern Malaysian political issues more holistically. There is still hope in Malaysia though at leat 15 years late.

Given what we have or used to have as country, the question is what is it that we don't have. In aother word, Malaysia by itself as nation is a very rich country with huge amount of resources, vast fertile land, no natural disaster, good lenght of shore with deep port potential....I can go on and on. But where were we during Mahathir's time ? Sing : RM dropped from 1.10 to 2.20, we are far from being the top economy even within Asia, racial & religios issues were even more polarised, enforcement authorities are malfunctioning, among others.

Then you ask yourself honestly, could all these cronic symptoms possibly surface within a day's time ? Logic tells that they are impossible. The next question, where are the sources of all these evils ? and when exactly diseases started to exist ? who allowed these and who were the beneficiary of the evils symptoms ? The answer is not difficult to discern for those whose heart is for the beloved country we all called Malaysia.

Donplaypuks® said...

It is obvious that Firaun is fighting to save his place in history as 'Bapak Modern M'sia.'

Having to appear in court to answer the RCI charges would place a considerable dent in this image. The apology to Salleh Abbas was a smack in his face, the RCI another.

More than that, he has publicly stated that he had to grovel to
4th Floor to get a Govt contract for his son. We must read into this that the game is up for his croneys. They will now have to actually work for a living rather than the sinecure Gaji Buta in collecting rent, trade in under-valued land, AP's, taxi licences and Govt contracts, or perish.

The ultimate insult would be were DSAI to become the next PM. That would be a nightmare disaster to Firaun of Biblical proportions.

Truth, while it may be stranger than fiction, has also a way of revealing the face behind the mask. And we are now witnesses to the ugliness with all its trimmings!!

Have no doubt, the decline in standards of education, juduciary, police, civil service, race relations, religious tolerance, morality vis-a-vis corruption and rising crime - all can be traced to Firaun's rule between 1981 - 2003.

To expect Rip Van Winkle to undo Firauns gross errors in 5 years is unrealistic. And Rip has not done himself any favours with 4th floor, nad the machinations of his siblings and children.

Anonymous said...

Mahathir as we know it will always be Mahathir. As brilliant as he is in bringing Malaysia to where she is now, he wants to always remain the best PM ever. And by doing what he is doing that now, I can say he just wants to retain the attention and support of the people at Abdullah's expense. Mahathir has to admit also that Abdullah holds the key to many of his skeletons from the past too, so by urging Abdullah to leave, he thinks his dirty old secrets would not be uncovered.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar said...


could you e-mail me at and let me know what your sources are for the point on the contract. I hope you understand that I need to be able to verify factual information appearing on the blog. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

All of you are nuts,no brains, can't even recall when Dr. M reign. During his (Dr.M) time, nothing happens like this. It shows AAB is incapable in running the country. He allows his SIL and cronies to do it. It is just like family business, employing cronies as his staff to run his company that leads to corrupution, cheats, lies, etc,etc. The company can go bankrupt at the end and so to the country.The rakyat eventually will feel and see the truth. Just open your eyes and mind to recall. That you may see the different. Dr.M didn't allow his son(s) or family to run the country.That is the different!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Mahathir saved Malaysia from being colonised by the IMF during the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis. Thanks to his brilliant idea, we are where we are today. Otherwise, I hate to imagine the state Malaysia would be in. Dr. Mahathir proved to the world that "Malaysia Boleh" and he made us all proud to be Malaysian. As for now, there is simply nothing to be proud of. It is such a sad state of affair. For anyone to suggest that Dr. Mahathir was the worst thing to happen to Malaysia is simply beyond comprehension. I would not want to be even in an argument with such a nincompoop. It is such an insult.

CHee XtheMan said...

Mahathir did make "us all proud" sorry !! mate ...... he did made us all shame in in "VK Lingam" friend !! ...correct...correct ... right ..... he had cheated us for 20 years !! mate

Well ... you said Mahathir save us from financial crisis in 1997 !!! well not really, at the begining we might agreed .... but after 10 years because of him also....we never really recovered from the crisis. A lot of investor moving aways to HK, singapore and other Asean country mainly because of our policies. As for today, HK, Taiwan, Korea, singapore all doing much better than us .... country like HK, Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand did suffer deeply in 97 crisis. However all of them did recovered but where are we ? even now we Thailand FDI have beaten us and Indonesia is very close to us ... this what you call the system works ? Think again mate. If you compare us with Singapore .... the did makan Sambai belacan like we do .... but why we so much poor than Sinpaporean.

The Trooper said...

Brother Malik (that's what IIU students called each other right?)

Just a question and I'm not a lawyer...

With all this Lingam fiasco.. why is that the Bar Council is not taking any disciplinary action on the lawyer who is giving the bribe?

Why just the judges? If i am not mistaken the one offering the bribe is also in the wrong right?

Salam brother

Anonymous said...

Malaysia Boleh apa duhai Anonymous? Please enlighten us on that. What makes you so proud to be Malaysian during TDM's time. We are such ignorant, living in a dark hole type of people.

Please don't give us the usual Twin Towers, KLIA, Azhar Mansur, biggest this, tallest that's stale and just plain shallow. Also superficial.

And please don't repeat that IMF thingy, it's stale as well. Did you know, that demi-god of yours on his official trip to Korea a few years after the financial crisis actually admitted to the South Korean president that South Korea despite surrendering their economy to the IMF had actually recovered way faster, way better than Malaysia and way better than they were before the crisis? And of course this is not widely reported in Malaysian media back then, it's obvious why. Look where Korea is today. Look where Thailand is today (despite their political turmoil in recent years).

This is what I, the ignorant one remember, the first ten years of his premiership was quite rough. The world economy was in a slump and UMNO was going through some very serious rift that lead to its deregistration. There was no Mahathir worshipping back then. No (sickening) Malaysia Boleh either.

The come the heyday of the 90s. That is where the serious problems start that lead to the dire situation we are in today. In the process of turning Malaysian economy, he had unwittingly created monsters; corrupt officials, corrupt businessmen, corrupt politicians that went unchecked because life was good. Projects here and there. People selling project to other people here and there. Ali-Baba here and there. Instant millionaires here and there. All because they belong to the right party, not because they are good at what they do. His grip to the premiership became stronger and stronger as everybody was happy. Voice of dissent were frowned upon. Anything from his mouth is regarded as a command.

And the Malays were fooled into believing that the Malays economic position were improving tremendously when the actual fact was only certain Malays that belong to his party were improving tremendously, while the poor Malays were pretty much in the same condition.

Then came George Soros. Everything that he has built over the years wiped out in matter of months. Then and only then we knew how fragile our financial system and our banking system were, also how badly managed our GLCs were...and in the process we realized how superficial it was of all the hoo-haa of "booming economy" of the 90s were.

Then the dark years continue, Anwar episode, UEM bailouts, MAS bailouts, mega projects, more mega projects in time of SUKOM, all in the name of shoring up the economy, fooling the people that "see...our economy is improving, mega projects are everywhere stuff"

He then regarded as a saviour. A hero, that saved us from being a subject to that evil IMF. How gullible Malaysians were, it's just beyond me. He was not saving Malaysia, he was just saving his cronies, his families, his UMNO's grip on Malaysian economic pie from being taken over by IMF.

But the voice of dissent grew stronger. While he can still fool the majority who took everything being churned out by the mainstream media like the gospel, it was a losing battle against those who in disgust of everthing that happened, who turned to the new media.

He knew he had to leave sooner rather than later, before that voice of dissent became a majority. But before that he needed someone he regarded as a weaker being compared to him, who he thought has no guts to go against him and destroy his legacy. Pak Lah was a perfect candidate for that.

The rest as they say is history.


Ghifari X said...

Love him hate him-you all sang his chorus be it racist 2020 anti-foreigner etc etc etc! He was good at it Now the country is at a standstill; haven't you all notice and every time Dr.M speaks the cocoon closes. Mahathir did his lot but lost it when he screwed Anwar. Badawi made a fool of himself when he brought in the boys on the 4th and his little racist up-start in-law. We all are accustom to empty promises and Badawi's was no exception, we all are used to stolen elections but 2008 run-up indelible ink was the braking point- it vex all that the announcement that the election was stolen before we even cast our vote suggest that we as a people were damn stupid-BENGONG and the arrogance that pursued. Badawi got his chance as much as BN-UMNO and they screwed up badly-now this isn't Dr.M's fault in fact I relish Dr. M's input at this juncture it keeps UNMO at a standstill uneasy perhaps until these arrogant bastards fall. Mahathir guilt is = to all of BN/UMNO.

Ted Torrence said...

I for one will never agree "Mahathir saved us from financial crisis in 1997".

You know why? Because I was one of the bona fide victims of his refusal to let our cancer-infected economic system to uundergo chemotherapy ... I lost two arms and the cancer is till there.

As for Badawi, I have given up on this man long ago. One word describe it all ... Disappointing.

BTW, I have a question ... Is there such thing as "Righteous Dishonesty"? Details here ...

Anonymous said...

Dr. Mahathir has asked for his day in court with regards to his implication in the Lingam tape scandal. If he is not proven guilty, then how can one accuses him of bringing shame to the country?? Please do not be emotional and hurl accusations when there is no truth whatsoever. If we want to have a debate, then let's have one that is based on facts and not fantasies and imaginations. It's a fact that during Dr. Mahathir's time, we enjoyed continous economic growth for 20 years and yet we have people harping that they had been cheated for 20 years. The whole nation prospered during those times and if you did not, then it is due to your own inabilities, mate!! Don't blame it on anyone. We recovered faster than most of the Asian countries affected by the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis and please note that we did it without having to sell our sovereignity to the IMF. Our FDI was better than Thailand during Dr. Mahathir's time (you can ask Rafidah and she will wagged her finger at you for talking nonsense) and it was only recently that our FDI 'may' have fallen below Thailand. Do you know why? It's because somebody screwed up the system big time and now we are paying the price for it. I strongly object to this comparison between Malaysia and Singapore. It is so irrelevant!! I am not even going to comment on such a meaningless comparison. Hey mate, let's be reasonable and give credit where credit is due. Cheers!

Anonymous said...

To my dear hjab, it's true that you have been living in a dark hole. I can't blame you for being so ignorant. You have written so much shit that I would rather not waste my time on. But, let me tell you a story about one of my friend who started working in the early eighties. I remember him going to work on his Honda Cub 65 and he had to travel through those muddy road from his squatter village somewhere in the Kinta valley. He wasn't earning too much then and he was quite apprehensive about his future. However, he persevered and worked hard and by the late eighties, he bought his first car, a Proton Saga. I remembered the proud look on his face as he drove his car back to his squatter village. I felt proud for him too, in fact, everyone in the village felt the same way. There was something in the air at that time. An indescribable feeling that things were changing for the better. Soon after, almost everyone in the village were owning cars. Some of the villagers were doing even better, they bought houses and were moving towards greener pastures. Anyway my friend got married in the early nineties and he too moved away to Ipoh where he bought a single storey terrace house. When I caught up with him again in the late nineties, he was doing very well. He had two lovely children, moved to a double storey terrace house and he was driving a new Proton Wira. We had a long chat and he told me that life had been good to him and he had started a small business with some friends. I enquired about some of our mutual friends and I heard the same success stories repeated over and over again. My friend told me that throughout the nineties, there was only one moment when he felt frightened. It was during the 1997 financial crisis. He was worried that his business might not survive the turmoil. However, thanks to capital control, his business was shielded from all the external shocks. Interest rate was stabilised and there was enough liquidity to go around for business to function normally. I told him that he had done well compared to his father who started working in the sixties and it took him almost twenty years before he managed to buy his first car. My friend took less than ten years. The reason was because my friend's father was a farmer and he continued to be a farmer until he retired. Not that he wanted to be a farmer but because there wasn't enough opportunity for him to be someone else. My friend told me that from the early eighties to the new millenium, there was an abundance of opportunities for all Malaysian to prosper. "All it takes is hard work and perseverance", those were the exact words that he said to me. I told him. "Fook, I am proud of you and your achievements". Those were the exact words that I said to him. Everywhere that I look around, I see people like my friend who had taken the opportunities during the eighties and worked hard through the nineties and into the new millenium. These are just ordinary Malaysians, not any UMNO bigwigs or MCA towkays. I don't need to talk about the Twin Towers, KLIA, Penang Bridge, North-South Highway and what else you have.
Now, do you know THE PART THAT MADE ME WORSHIP TUN MAHATHIR MY DEAR MR. HJAB. He gave opportunities to all ordinary Malaysians and he changed their lives including yours!!!

The Trooper said...

Aye! to Anonymous!

Anonymous said...

Not finish yet Anonymous? mean, there's no more oportunities for ordinary Malaysians like you and me now? They are all gone?
Opportunities are opportunities no matter where and under what kind of conditions we are in.
It would help if you could list down each and every policies enjoyed by you and your bunch of friends that are no longer in place now. Giving sweeping statements are very easy thing to do.
Abdullah is a weaker PM, yes. But to say that he has destroyed all the opportunities for ordinary Malaysians to grow are way too unfair, don't you think?
Mahathir left a working but flawed system that are opened to abuse. Deal with that fact, will you?
You are alone and going against the current here, you'll find your type of people at Che Det's blog...thousands of them there. Better for your health.

Anonymous said...

My dear Hjab, no, I am not finished yet. In fact, I am far from finish especially with ignorant and stubborn people like you. Before I go further, I have to remind that you need to have your eyes checked because I believe you are seeing things. And, since you are at it, you probably need to have your mind checked too because you are imagining things and putting words into people's mouth. Please take care of your health my dear Hjab.
I did not say that opportunities are ALL gone for ordinary Malaysians and I most definitely did not say that PM Abdullah has destroyed ALL opportunities for ordinary Malaysians. Let's be specific, I did not write any of these words but You did. So, please don't make sweeping statements about what I say or write. I agree that opportunities come and go and opportunities are always there no matter what the conditions are. But, what I am trying to differentiate is are there more or less opportunities. These are subtleties that you have failed to address. I don't believe that there is a perfect goverment. Everyone government has flaws in its system but the trick is how to improve on it and remove the flaws as much as possible. Do you agree?
So, this brings back to where my initial argument is all about. It had been an enjoyable merry go round. Thank you very much Mr. HJAB.

julian said...

anonymous, it's no point trying to educate you. you are a moron. you belong to the same group of sycophants as you might have heard of this blog. shoo shoo.

Anonymous said...

My Dear Mr. Julian,

First of all, I do not need to be educated by you. On the contrary, you need lots of education. Calling people moron and hurling insults doesn't make you more educated. In fact, it reflects on your upbringing. Your parents will be ashamed of you. I feel sorry for them. Shooing me away and shutting me out doesn't solve your problems either. I can give you lots of advice but my first advice will be to go and get an education. Thank you very much.

Anonymous said...

hjab..pls wake up. SIL, Zaid, Patrick Badawi, Kalimullah, ECM libra,and many more. Still believ Tun was wrong...ayyo yenadah!

Anonymous said...

When specific groups of individual (I think with the same idealism) talk about Tun Mahathir, it become apparent that most discussion is based on emotion rather than facts. To clarify my point, I have listed a few stereotypic words/ phrase/ clause that have been typically used to attack Mahathir.

(1) "Mismanage the country and now Malaysia is worst compared to Singapore, Taiwan, Hongkong and Korea".

Firstly let have a look at these
a) Singapore was already far
developed than Malaysia in 1986.
A country that rely on their
port. The way the Colonial master
designed the system is that for
goods from Malaysia to be
transported/ processed /
manufactured via/in Singapore
before being export. It is not
just good, but most central
activities were based in
Singapore (business, banking,
academic and even universities.
Thank god for Mahathir returning
them back to Malaysia.

b) Hong Kong - another port with
the same reason why it had
developed faster than China

c) Taiwan - same as above

d) Korea - very much developed
than Malaysia, even before the
Japanesse occupation.

(2) "Dr.M thinks he is almighty and the appointment of PM post is his divine right.He forgot once out of power, his influence diminishes and there is no more power to show and distribute".

My question to this fellow is
give us hard fact about this
perception of yours. Don't just
talk based of what you hear or
believe. Give valid reason, not
the narration of event based on
your perception.

(3) "Why did Mahathir cry when he
announced his resignation in 2002 ? bcos he cld feel the pressure mounting and people wanted him out. Why did he not cry when he resigned from UMNO in 2008?"

Again, another interpretation
based on the commentors
perception abou why Mathir had
cried and why he doesn't

(4)"But where were we during
Mahathir's time ? Sing : RM dropped from 1.10 to 2.20, we are far from being the top economy even within Asia, racial & religios issues were even more polarised, enforcement authorities are malfunctioning, among others."

True, our Money slipped down
against the Singapore dollar and
that is bad.

However, if i remember correctly,
Malaysia was one of the Asian
dragon prior to the economic

Racial and religious polarisation
has been an issue in Malaysia
even before Mahathir come to
power. I remember one of the most
frightening issue faced by me on
entering university was
oppression from non Malay
lecturers who openly discriminate
and oppressed Malay students

My take on why some non Malays perceive more racial polarisation after independence and especially during Mahathir's time is because of the great influx of Malays into professional works, academic and businesses. During the colonial administration, the Chinese was given preference so much so they monopolised the universities, the businesses and the professional skill (doctors, lawyers, engineers, accountant).