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Getting to know Dr M by Lim Mun Fah

Getting to know Dr M by Lim Mun Fah

DEC 10,2009 — What kind of person is former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad?

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said Dr M is a racist.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin did not agree with Nazri and said it is rather extreme to label Dr M as a racist.

However, Dr M admitted: “I must be a racist if Nazri says I am racist.”
In his view, as a member of a racial political party, Nazri should not fight against racism. Otherwise, he should resign from the party.

According to Dr M’s logic, all Umno members must be racists or they have to resign from Umno.

I can’t imagine if Dr M’s words are completely true.

As I said, I hope that Nazri won’t be the lone voice in Umno, as it represents openness, tolerance and eagerness to make progress.

But I can’t see any other Umno elite coming forward to support Nazri and criticise Dr M.
Dr M always bears racism in mind as it is indeed a tool that is cheap and good to use.
During the 22-year rule of Dr M, policies that he implemented had a far-reaching impact on the country. To be fair, he made contributions but at the same time, he also did some things inappropriate. And it is in fact a very controversial issue to say whether his contributions are greater than his wrongdoings or his wrongdoings ares greater than his contribution.

Frankly speaking, Dr M is a very controversial former political leader.

Many people write about him. The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS) in Singapore had promoted a new book entitled “Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times”. The book has been recognised as the most independent and comprehensive biography of Dr M that explores his ruling style. It is written by Asian Wall Street Journal former editor Barry Wain.

According to Singapore media reports, Wain criticised in his book that “Dr M had undermined state institutions, permitted the spread of corruption and failed to provide for Malaysia’s future leadership”. Wain also said that Malaysia had squandered an estimated RM100 billion on financial scandals under the 22-year rule of Dr M.

He also said that Dr M had intervened and controlled the judiciary, making the judiciary serve him. The book also mentioned how Dr M weakened the country and non-governmental organisations, practised cronyism, pursued huge construction projects, undermined the monarchy and destroyed his successors.

Perhaps, Wain may help us to know about a more realistic Dr M but he may also offend some people, causing a backlash. I wonder whether his book will be published in Malaysia?

— mysinchew.com

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