Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mahathir Tells Proton To Look At India

By P.Vijian
Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said national car maker, Proton (Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Sdn Bhd), should leverage on India's low cost production to foray into the burgeoning automobile market.

India's automobile sector is gradually attracting world class players, all capitalising on India's insatiable demand for foreign models and cheaper production costs.

"Now there is scope for Proton to come here because we are not tied to any other (foreign) companies. Proton is free and can come here," Dr Mahathir, also Proton's adviser, told Bernama in Delhi.

It is a sunrise sector, with India's passenger vehicles segment in 2010 (April-August) seeing a 33.88 per cent growth compared to the same period last year.

Its passenger car and commercial vehicle production industry is world's seventh largest, with annual output of 2.6 million units in 2009.

In Asia, India takes prides in being the fourth largest exporter of passenger cars, after Japan, South Korea and Thailand.

The architect behind Proton, Dr Mahathir said the car maker is currently undergoing restructuring and once completed, it should be able to explore the Indian market.

In the past years, Proton attempted to enter the competitive Indian market, trying to marry with local car producers to expand its operations in the South Asia region, but deals failed to mature.

"Proton is presently restructuring and the trend now is green cars. Proton is now busy trying to develop hybrid and electric cars.

"When it has achieved some degree of competence, it may want to work in India. If we invest here, we can actually produce the cars here, firstly through assembly and subsequently by manufacturing, once we achieve the volume.

"Proton I think can compete with other cars because it can take advantage of the lower cost of (production) in India," he added.

Dr Mahathir and his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah are currently on a private visit to India.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Dr M moots bloggers’ code of ethics

Dr Mahathir said bloggers must acknowledge the responsibility that comes with the unfettered nature of the medium. — file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 28 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today called on bloggers to adhere to a certain code of ethics and ensure their blog articles are backed by truth in order for blogs to become a respected medium for the betterment of the society.

The former prime minister said the blogging ethics should be voluntary because these were for the bloggers’ own good and from which they would build their reputation in the eyes of the people.

Dr Mahathir, himself a blogger, said the society had access to blogs, a medium which he said was “almost beyond the control of any authority”, and that if bloggers were ethical and write the truth, more people would make blogs their source of information.

If bloggers adhered to these ethics, he said, “I think eventually people will come to respect blogs. If we are not saying the truth, people will desert blogs like (how they deserted) the ordinary media today,” he said in his keynote address at the Asian Bloggers and Social Media Conference 2010, here today.

The two-day conference, themed “Reflections of the Social Media Revolution”, is organised by My Events International and is attended by about 400 people across Asia.

Dr Mahathir said although bloggers were free to blog on whatever they wanted, they should do so in a responsible manner and not abuse the medium.

“(Bloggers) should not say nasty things or curse people; don’t do that because people will get annoyed and they can take action against you,” he said, adding that “even if we don’t like a person, we should not say things which are not true (about that person).”

Dr Mahathir, who runs a popular blog at, said it was imperative for bloggers to be able to back what they say.

He said that although bloggers had the advantage in terms of freedom, they must make use of the freedom to shape the opinion towards building a better world community and for the betterment of the people.

“No one can stop or correct you because you are in charge; you are the writer, the editor and the publisher... when you have the weapons, don’t use it indiscriminately. Bloggers must always exercise restraint and avoid anything that is not true and things that hurt people,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said while some blogs were very good, there were others which were “worthless” and that certain skills were needed to sort out blogs which reported the truth from those that contained mere propaganda.

“Problems arise because there is so much news coming in; you get confused and when you get confused you make the wrong decision. So you have to sort out the news,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also said that the ordinary press would not be able write everything because of space constraint. He said that because of such constraint he turned to blog to provide him with the space to express his views.

Dr Mahathir also said that his blog was being read by people from many countries, including from Israel.

If bloggers write with responsibility, he added, they and their blogs would become popular. — Bernama

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dr M’s personal photos album launched

Many may not be aware of this fact, but former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is an avid photographer.

Three editors, namely Zin Oo Ko, Dr Mahathir’s daughter, Maizura Mahathir, and Razlan Rashid, have come up with a coffeetable book depicting the former prime minister’s personal snapshots.

Titled “Though My Lenses”, the book contains over 300 personal photographs captured by Dr Mahathir during his time in office and after he had stepped down as prime minister.

It also illustrates visuals and views from his camera lens during his travels in Argentina, Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Ukraine, Japan, China, Indonesia, Turkey, Dubai and destinations in Malaysia.

The book also offers handwritten captions for the photographs by Dr Mahathir, explaining what they mean to him or what he might have thought as he took them.

Asked to comment on the book, Dr Mahathir said there were too many fond memories in the photographs and it was hard for him to point out his favourite.

“Sometimes, I can’t remember where I took the photos,” he said after the launch of the book by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali here today.

On the book, Dr Siti Hasmah hoped it would provide readers another view of her husband’s personal life.

“I hope you will enjoy viewing through his lenses, the scenes and pictures, just as much as he enjoyed photographing them,” she said.

With over 10,000 photographs to choose from, the editors describe “Through My Lenses” as a book of photographs, but stress it is not a photography book.

“Rather, it is a channel used to communicate with the thoughts of Dr Mahathir, and that is the factor that makes this book unique,” they said.

“Through My Lenses” is available at major bookstores and retails at RM99. — Bernama

Thursday, July 8, 2010

UMNO and Pakatan slammed Dr M's senile argument

Umno, Pakatan slam Dr M’s Malay theory as ‘far-fetched’
In a rare show of unity, Umno and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) have slammed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s argument that the Malays could end up being a minority.

They called the former prime minister’s theory “far-fetched”.

Umno’s Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said statements like these from Dr Mahathir had resulted in the Malays being even more split and unable to assert dominance.

“He (Dr Mahathir) is giving a far-fetched scenario, without really properly looking into finding a way to give out a proper message that young Malays could understand. He is scaring the Malays into becoming more Malay,” said Nur Jazlan.

Dr Mahathir suggested yesterday that future government leaders could open the immigration floodgates to dilute the number of Malays in the country.

He said in a posting on his popular blog that the current national leadership appears to believe that the Malays would continue to account for 60 per cent of the country’s population.

“He’s just being Dr Mahathir. Immigration polices would only be amended to allow more immigrants if the country desperately lacked labour and needed the input a lot.

“Bear in mind that even if immigrants come, they cannot vote. So how are they going to affect the Malays’ position?” Nur Jazlan told The Malaysian Insider.

He said that it was “not right” for the former PM to assume that the Malays were constantly under siege and could not compete with the other races.

“He should realise that it was from his own industrialisation policies which have resulted in the Malays being more progressive. The Malays today are competitive, strong and capable of direct competition,” said the Umno man.

He claimed that the reason why the Malays were not united in the first place was because of Umno’s own policies.

“It is the questioning of Umno’s own policies. If Umno wants their support it has to fight for them. Get them to be on our side,” said the Pulai MP.

“Dr Mahathir is just doing it for Perkasa. Perkasa is not taking off, Ibrahim Ali sounds racist when he opens his mouth. With Dr Mahathir’s position, he hopes to attract moderate Malays.”

But Nur Jazlan admitted that Dr Mahathir’s remarks would still have an “effect on the more rural Malays, who still regard him as a national icon.”

Another Umno member, Johor Baru MP Datuk Seri Shahrir Samad, said that while Umno could take heed of Dr Mahathir’s advice, he personally felt it was too speculative.

“I think that it is purely speculative. I’m not too worried about his remarks.

“He is basing his theory on a perception of Semenanjung Malaysia, on what had happened to Malaya. But we have to view his arguments in the context of Malaysia, including Sabah and Sarawak,” said Shahrir.

The former chairman of the Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) told The Malaysian Insider that it would be highly unlikely that the government would open the immigration floodgates in the future, because Sabah and Sarawak would not be “agreeable” to that.

“We will take note of what he says. It will only happen if Sabah and Sarawak encourage such a policy. They would also have to agree, and for now I don’t see why they should. Decisions like these are made on a federal level, not just peninsular.

“And don’t forget, would PAS and PKR even approve of it?” said Shahrir.

He also said he understood what Dr Mahathir was trying to say.

“He is saying that BN would not do well if Umno does not command Malay support, and if the Malays remain divided between PAS, PKR and Umno.

“I think Umno has to work harder and be more mindful of the reversals of policies that how we have suffered from it. But Umno is still strong, we just have to build on our base,” added Shahrir.

Former Umno deputy president-turned PR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim claimed that Dr Mahathir’s views were the actual obstacle for the Malays.

“I think that ideas like his are an obstacle, and will create even more insecurity among the Malays.

“He (Dr Mahathir) is oblivious to the fact that the new generation of Malays are more assertive, and confident of their abilities and position,” Anwar told The Malaysian Insider.

But Dr Mahathir’s one-time blue-eyed boy stressed that the Malays must also not be marginalised and that equal opportunity be given to all.

“We cannot take his views and position about non-Malays as he did during the 1950s. The second and third generation of non-Malays are as much citizens of the country as the Malays.

“I appeal to young Malays to be confident and move on with the future,” Anwar said.

Dr Mahathir’s latest remarks mark a continuation of a more strident right-wing tone adopted by the former prime minister in recent months in his push for a siege mentality among the Malays.

Last month, he argued that the community’s political leaders are now under the thumb of “the others” and need to be united again for the sake of its future.

He illustrated his argument by referring to the fall of the Perak PR government which he characterised as being “led by a Malay (but) a certain race considered it the fall of a government belonging to their race”.

Dr Mahathir has been stepping up his rhetoric in recent months to lobby for the current Umno leadership to respond to disquiet among conservative Malays.

Backed by increasingly influential right-wing Malay groups like Perkasa, Dr Mahathir and his supporters have rattled Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s reform agenda.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Tun Dr Mahathir - the musical show

Tun Dr Mahathir is now a musical
July 08, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, July 8 — Tun Mahathir The Musical, which depicts the life journey of Malaysia’s fourth prime minister, will surely evoke sweet memories to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah as the play includes efforts from their children.

The play’s storyline is determined by Datuk Mukhriz, who is Deputy International Trade and Industry Minister, while Mazhar, a student at the National Arts Culture and Heritage Academy (Aswara), will feature in a supporting role.

Istana Budaya director-general Mohamed Juhari Shaarani said the performance was proposed three years ago by Information Communication and Culture Minister, Datuk Seri Utama Dr Rais Yatim, to honour the statesman.

“When we asked Tun Dr Mahathir for his consent (to stage the play), he approved on condition that the musical’s storyline was based on facts,” he said during a news conference, here today.

The event was also attended by the Deputy Prime Minister’s wife, Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman, who is patron of the musical.

To be staged from Sept 24 to Oct 4, the play will star popular local artistes such as Esma Daniel, who will be acting as the adult Dr Mahathir, Erra Fazira (Dr Siti Hasmah), Zizan Nin (Dr Mahathir in his teens) and Idola Kecil 2008 finalist Mohd Shafeiq Shazwan (Dr Mahathir as a child).

The musical theatre, to be jointly carried out by Istana Budaya, CRTA Production, the Information Communication and Culture Ministry and the Malaysian Women Writers Association (PPWM), will be directed by the dean of Aswara’s Theatre Faculty, Rosminah Mohd Tahir, while its script is written by Ismail Kassan.

Meanwhile, CRTA Production producer Siti Rohaya Attan said the musical will depict Tun Dr Mahathir’s life as a child to his days as a doctor serving the people, and the ups and downs he experienced as a politician.

“The dilemmas and achievements throughout his 22 years as Prime Minister will be portrayed through dialogue, songs and dance suited to facts approved by Tun Dr Mahathir himself,” she said.

Siti Rohaya, whose name is not new to the world of theatre, has produced and directed several musicals such as Assyura (1997), Taman Baginda (1998), Kereta Kencana (1998), Lantai T. Pinkie Musical (2000), T.Pinkie Musical (2006), Ibu Zain, The Musical (2008) and Gamat the Musical (2009).

Tickets priced between RM30 and RM150 can be obtained from Istana Budaya or

Friday, June 25, 2010

I Would Have Approved Football Betting Licence

KUALA LUMPUR, June 23 — Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he would approve the widely unpopular football betting licence if he were still in power.

“If I am the government, I will approve it,” he said in Putrajaya today.

He said the government should not stop those who are permitted to gamble.

“The Chinese always gamble, it isn’t haram for them. Why stop them?

“Why should we stop them? We can’t stop them from eating pork because for them it’s not haram,” he said.

Tan Sri Vincent Tan’s Berjaya Corp had reported last month that the government had re-issued the licence to Ascot Sports Sdn Bhd — also controlled by Tan — after the original licence was cancelled by the previous administration under Tun Abdullah Badawi.

The listed company had proposed in a filing made to Bursa Malaysia on May 12 to acquire Tan’s 70 per cent stake of Ascot Sports for RM525 million. The remaining 30 per cent would remain under the control of his son, Datuk Robin Tan Yeong Ching.

However, its status has been called into question by the Finance Ministry’s recent denial that it had issued the licence to Ascot Sports following public uproar at the legalisation of another avenue for gambling.

Long-time Mahathir (picture) associate Tan had first obtained the licence from the feisty veteran politician himself but had “asked the government to take it back” when the venture was unsuccessful.

But he has now obtained the right to get the licence back and was exercising it.

Dr Mahathir said last Monday that Pakatan Rakyat’s objections to the re-issuance of the sports betting licence was not driven by religious reasons but, rather, political ones.

“The objection is political, not Islamic,” he had said.

“Even the DAP is protesting, as if the DAP too is supporting Islamic teachings. This is the politics of the opposition parties which are looking at issues (for political mileage).”

Islam Missionaries Must Not Be Extremists

Local missionaries must be free from extremist influence which tarnishes the image of Islam in discharging their responsibilities, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today.

The former prime minister said if there were missionaries who were influenced by the extreme practices of certain Islamic countries and try to spread such practices in this country, it would pose problems.

“They should preach smartly to suit the local situation,” he said when opening the 49th annual general meeting of the Malaysian Muslim Welfare Organisation (Perkim), here.

Tun Dr Mahathir, who is also the Perkim president, said extremist missionary activities not only tarnished the image of the Islamic religion but would also result in the Muslims being looked upon with contempt and create splits within the Muslims.

Worse still, Tun Dr Mahathir said there were those who felt that violence must be used to topple governments on grounds that they did not follow the wishes of Islam, without thinking that violence was a form of cruelty.

Meanwhile, Tun Dr Mahathir was returned unopposed for the post of Perkim president which he has held since 2006.

Perkim honorary secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Abdul Hamid Othman announced the result at the general meeting held at a hotel here.

Four people elected as Perkim vice-presidents were former Perlis mentri besar Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim, Datuk Dr Ariffin Suhaimi, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman and Datuk Dr Mustapha Ma.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Dr M is Manipulated by Perkasa and Gertak?

Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali said Nazri’s statement was unsurprising and that he was not “bothered at all” with the latter’s words.

“Nazri (picture) speaks as an individual but Perkasa is an organisation with thousands of members now. So I hope he feels great with his statement and I am not bothered at all.

“I feel great too,” he told The Malaysian Insider via SMS this afternoon.

The Pasir MAS MP said that Nazri, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, had an axe to grind with Dr Mahathir and merely wanted to please all those who opposed Perkasa’s struggles.

“He might have problems with Tun since Tun is a great leader and world renowned. So he must feel proud and great when he can attack Tun,” said Ibrahim.

Perkasa Youth chief Arman Azha Abu Hanifah agreed with his leader, saying that if Nazri’s “boss”, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, could accept Perkasa’s struggles, he should follow suit.

He said Najib had shown support when he accepted five of the 32 proposals made by Perkasa to be included in the 10th Malaysia Plan.

“If his boss can accept us, why can’t he?” said Arman Azha.

He added that the five proposals included strengthening the economic status of the Bumiputeras and protecting the welfare of the Bumiputeras in education.

“Furthermore, Nazri claimed that Perkasa is strong because of Mahathir but this is wrong because even before Mahathir supported us, we were already around.

“He is just supporting us because he saw that we are a non-governmental organisation that has been very consistent in fighting for the rights of the Bumiputeras,” he said.

Arman Azha added that Perkasa would always be relevant with or without Dr Mahathir so long as it continued to champion the rights of the Bumiputeras.

“As long as we are consistent, if we keep protecting the rights of the Bumiputera which are enshrined in the Constitution, we will be relevant.

“Also, it is not true that we are against Najib — we have always supported him and we are merely bringing to him the voice of the grassroots. Sometimes as a leader, you are not aware of the people’s voices.

“Nazri is just trying to stand out,” he said.

Gertak, or Gerakan Kebangkitan Rakyat (People’s Awareness Movement), chief Razali Idris accused Nazri of being an opportunist who would side with whomever was in power.

“He is a three-era man. He was there during Tun’s time. He was there during Pak Lah (Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi). He is here now during Najib.

“He just wants to be their strongest soldier, their general, so he will defend them to the end. His style is to try and make sure that he stands out so that people will say ‘wow, he is a great leader’,” said Razali.

He claimed Nazri was clueless over the true purpose of Gertak, which was why he claimed that the movement would die if Dr Mahathir stopped supporting it.

“Firstly, we are not about Tun. We invited him to speak for us because he is the one true leader who has been there through the tough years in the past.

“He was there during Merdeka, he was there during the May 13 riots. He knows our history first-hand whereas Nazri only read from history books,” he said.

Razali pointed out that unlike Perkasa, Gertak was not an organisation but a movement to remind the Malays that they should not be complacent.

“We do not want the Malays to have this complacency, to sit back and think they do not need to work hard because they would always get opportunities from the government.

“This is why we called our rally ‘Melayu Bangkit’. We want the Malays to rise and be aware,” he said.

Razali said that Nazri should not simply “spew out” comments and criticisms against movements like Gertak if he did not have the right information on what its struggles were about.

“I challenge him now — can he sit down and unite all the Malay NGOs in the country? Can he get them together and sit on one table and share one motive?” he said.

He added that as the Marang Umno division deputy chief, he was very much still an “Umno man” but was able to sit together with political leaders from across the divide for the purpose of championing Gertak’s cause.

“I can sit and talk with DAP leaders, PAS leaders, PKR leaders. Can Nazri do this? Can he?” he asked.

Razali said Gertak’s “Melayu Bangkit” rally in Kuala Terengganu on June 14 had attracted not only Malays but those of other races as well.

“We invited Mahathir because he was the one political icon who could speak on the history of Malaysia and the position of the Malays,” he said.

He noted that the rally had only attracted 2,000 people although the target was 5,000 people but claimed that those who turned out had done so voluntarily.

“We saw not only the Malays but the Chinese and the Indians too. I heard some even cried during Mahathir’s speech. So Nazri does not know what we are about and he is wrong to say we will be irrelevant without Mahathir,” he said.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dr Mahathir Provokes Singapore Malays

Singapore Malays have united and slammed Dr Mahathir in unison for his remarks made to a gathering of right-wing Malay groups that they are “marginalized”.

He claimed that “even though Malay Singaporeans enjoy the benefits of a more developed country, they have to ‘terbongkok-bongkok’ (kowtow) to others.”

A deluge of letters appeared in the Straits Times Forum today defending the PAP’s track record and system of “meritocracy” in Singapore.

Mustaffa Othman is quick to give credit to the PAP:

“While Dr Mahathir’s opinion on Malay Singaporeans enjoying the benefits of a developed country is spot-on, we have never kowtowed to others. Singaporeans of all races, including Malays, engage in healthy debate and discussions with our Government. The decisions made by the Government, after hearing feedback from its people, are respected as we trust it is in the best interests of all Singaporeans.”

Mr Jeffrey Law puts up a robust defence of the Singapore system:

“‘Most people will dismiss Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s remarks as merely political rhetoric. Singaporeans of all ethnic backgrounds have come a long way since 1965, having embraced the system of meritocracy in all aspects: education, employment and social standing. Most important, our ability to be a developed country within such a short time is due to the concerted effort and sacrifices of all Singaporeans – Chinese, Malays, Indians and others.”

Ahmad Abu Bakar felt that Singapore Malays achieved what they have today through their own merit:

“I strongly object to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s remarks. Like others, Malay Singaporeans work hard for the benefits in a meritocratic system. They are not born with a crutch of ethnic rights, quotas and ‘unfair’ opportunities. When Singapore Malays graduate from universities as doctors, engineers and scientists, they can hold their heads as high as the others, because they have done so by their own hard work and merit.”

Malays form some 15 percent of Singapore’s population and is the largest ethnic minority in Singapore. The Chinese forms the majority at 75 percent.

While the Malays have made great strides over the decades under PAP rule, some grievances remain such as the dearth of Malay officers in the Singapore Armed Forces.

In the last few years, the PAP has been mass-importing Chinese from mainland China to maintain the ethnic ratio. PAP strongman Lee Kuan Yew said in an interview last year that it is a “good” thing that Singapore brings more Chinese as they are more “hard-driving” and “hard-striving” than the locals.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Malays Could Be Marginalised In Their Own Land

Mahathir Mohamad warns against marginalising Malays

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has been accused of trouble-making, for saying Malays could be marginalised in their own land, unless they unite politically. Dr Mahathir, whose book, The Malay Dilemma, generated huge controversy 40 years ago, made the speech in the Muslim-dominated state of Trengganu. Civil society groups have accused Dr Mahathir of being provocative, as race and religion are sensitive topics in the multi-racial nation. However, one of Dr Mahathir's former colleagues has jumped to his defence.

Presenter: Sen Lam
Speakers: Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, former Malaysian Information minister and former senior office holder in the ruling UMNO party.

FADZIR: There is definitely a debate in Malaysia about the position of the Malays and Bumiputras in general, in comparison with the economic status of the Chinese especially. Now, they know that everybody agrees that there is definitely a gap an economic and social gap between the two major races in Malaysia. And we agreed a long, long time ago that this gap must be brought down closer, otherwise it is a recipe for disaster. In any society, if there is one race who is very much left behind and another race is so much advanced, it is a situation for trouble.

LAM: Malaysia has had over 40 years of pro-Bumiputra, pro-Malay policies. Why do you think that gap still exists?

FADZIR: Yeah, because obviously somehow or other, the policy of closing the gap which was supported by all the races, slowly it got hijacked.

LAM: Hijacked by whom?

FADZIR: Yeah, hijacked.

LAM: Hijacked by whom?

FADZIR: Well by various people, so instead of helping the Malay masses to come up, you know, it became a policy of just entertaining a small group of elite.

LAM: So you're saying that a small group of elite leaders benefitted from the new economic policy, that it did not filter down to the Malay community?

FADZIR: That's right, that's right. If it is a question of just helping the masses, the masses who are left behind, who are poor, I think that everybody supports, the Chinese do support, everybody supports, there is no quarrel about that.

LAM; The rally was called Melayu Bangkit, or Malay Awakening. Some people would say that is quite a provocative title. Do you think Dr Mahathir was irresponsible in addressing a rally that is obviously attended by hard core Malay nationalists?

FADZIR: Not necessarily, because they were also members of the ruling party who attended the meeting.

LAM: This is the ruling UMNO Party?

FADZIR: Yes, and some of them are quite moderate.

LAM: But many of the people who attended were from this group called Gertak - this is the umbrella group for 45 Malay NGOs and Malay Nationalist groups?

FADZIR: Well I don't know, but from what I understand from the various debates going on, people just want to go back to the policy which was launched by Tun Abdul Razak a long time ago, when he launched the new economic policy, that's to help the Malay masses, the poor Malay masses to come out, to close the gap.

LAM: How different was Tun Razak's policy from present day policy and I might remind our listeners that Tun Razak was the father of the current prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak?

FADZIR: Yes, I think .. er well, you know, when Tun Razak launched that policy, there was very deep study before the policy was launched. And he got in everybody, all the races in this study and he ultimately, when it was launched, he had the support of everybody, including the Chinese Opposition Party. Eradicating poverty amongst all races. But when it was implemented, unfortunately, we left behind the poor amongst the Chinese and the Indians, especially the Indians. Even the policy of helping the Malay masses was slowly replaced by helping, just promoting a small group of Malay elite.

LAM: There has been a push by non-Malays in recent years, for more rights and better treatment. Do you think that some sections of the Malay community might feel threatened by it - that this group, Gertak, the umbrella group for Malay activists, that they might feel that it is time for them to seize back more Malay rights, rather than grant the non-Bumi population more rights?

FADZIR: It is quite obviously in Malaysia to everybody, the Chinese have done very, very well. But they did very well because they are prepared to work very, very hard, they are prepared to spend wisely and they are very capable, so they have a right to be rich. So even on their side, they should be more muted in terms of clamouring for more, because naturally, we are in a democracy, there's bound to be some noise and turmoil of democracy and obviously there is some reaction from some Malays.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Mahathir: Only cowards sue critics

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad has taken a swipe at politicians who file legal suits against critics, calling them cowards. He could also be taking a swipe at Singapore's leaders who are making it a ritual to sue anyone who dares comment about them.

In his latest blog posting, he says he will not sue author Barry Wain, who in his book 'Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times' writes that he misappropriated public funds when he was prime minister.

“I am leery of politicians who sue their critics,” he said.

“I suspect that what they want is to make the issue sub judice so as to prevent the critics from attacking them on the issue. This is a cowardly move and in fact proves that the criticisms are fully justified.”

He urges the public to be cautious of such politicians, saying they are prone to abusing their power.

He said a politician should be able to fend of criticisms without going to court if he is innocent.

Mahathir probably is suffering from amnesia, as he has conveniently forgotten what he did during his years in as PM, during whose years in power a number of publications had their licences suspended or cancelled. Politicians who use the legal process to muzzle criticism are no better than a government that shuts down publications which are critical of it like that of Mahathir's.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Mahathir in Sri Lanka

Mahathir Mohamad makes his mark in Sri Lanka
By Natasha Gunaratne

Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohamad, credited with engineering rapid industrialization and modernization in Malaysia over his 22-year tenure, said the key to economic development and growth was stability amongst the main ethnic groups in Malaysia and a strong government which worked towards the success of the private sector and enhancing the lives of its citizens.

On a three day visit to Sri Lanka this week, Dr. Mahathir said he met with leaders in both the private and public sectors and expects Sri Lanka’s growth, which was stunted over the past 30 years due to the war, to improve.

At a media briefing on Friday, Dr. Mahathir said Sri Lanka was growing at a faster pace over Malaysia when it gained independence in 1957 but was hindered due to the ethnic conflict. He said this shows that it is better to resolve differences through negotiations and arbitrations than fighting.
Dr. Mahathir added that leaders in Sri Lanka are keen to develop the country but that the per capita income is low. He said Sri Lanka needs wealth in order to develop and will be forced to borrow.

Malaysian Experience

Dr. Mahathir said Sri Lanka was far ahead of Malaysia at the time of Malaysian independence in 1957 when Malaysia was primarily an agricultural economy with some mining before becoming an industrialized economy. When Dr. Mahathir resigned from office, Malaysia’s per capital GDP had grown to US$9,000 from US$300 when he first took office in 1981. It was industrialization that contributed to Malaysia’s rapid progress.

Delivering the keynote address at the International Business Leaders’ Forum organized by the Sri Lanka – Malaysia Business Council on Thursday, Dr. Mahathir said Malaysia also moved ahead due to achieving peace and stability amongst its three main ethnic communities. If issues were allowed to slide, he said there could have been large problems since the ethnic communities have different religions, culture and language. “If left to itself, Malaysia could have seen confrontations,” he said. “Early leaders decided to welcome the three races to participate in government.” This was achieved through a coalition of ethnic political parties, formed to share in the wealth of Malaysia.

The country’s focus was on economic development as industry created more jobs whereas agriculture did not create enough jobs for a growing population. Dr. Mahathir said Malaysia had no technology and experience in industry and no knowledge of markets or capital to start industries at that time. Foreign investors were invited to start industries which helped in job creation. Malaysia welcomed foreign direct investment (FDI) although investors would have no participation in the politics of the country. Investments were made in highly labour intensive industries which created employment. Malaysia even had to allow in foreign workers due to a shortage.

Focus on Education

Dr. Mahathir said Malaysia wanted its people to enjoy a high of living and spent a huge sum totaling 25% of the country’s development budget on education. Initially, there were only a few government universities and most students went abroad. Malaysian’s were studying in Germany, Belgium, Russia and Ukraine. The quest for knowledge became a big part of the country’s development programme.
Now, Malaysia has around 30 government universities and 30 private universities. Dr. Mahathir said students still go abroad but Malaysia is seen as a centre for excellence with over 100,000 foreign students in universities. He also noted that the literacy rate of 97% is very high and has been a contributing factor to Malaysia’s development. He added that now, Malaysians can go abroad and contribute to the construction of other countries whereas before, Malaysia was dependent on foreign companies for infrastructure development.

Look East Policy

Dr. Mahathir said an efficient government is needed which is dedicated to the development of the country and makes improvements in administration. In Malaysia, various institutions were created to improve the quality of administration. “We also tried to learn from the experience of other countries,” he said. Thereby, Malaysia adopted its ‘Look East’ Policy which was replaced by the previous ‘Look West’ policy. Malaysia looked to Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China.

Dr. Mahathir said Japan had rapidly rebuilt itself after World War II and had big corporations which were helped by the government. He also said one of the most important lessons Malaysia learnt was about the work ethic in Japan and South Korea that contributed to their success. Malaysian workers and students were also sent to Japan and South Korea to acquire knowledge and skills but to also learn about their culture.

Good leadership and democracy in Malaysia

Dr. Mahathir stressed the need for good leadership. He said the government has to have deep knowledge on the economy and administration. With the wrong leaders, a country may not achieve the growth that its people want. In a democratic system as in Malaysia, Dr. Mahathir said people have the right to vote leaders out of office. Therefore, he said it is an incentive for leaders to work towards the development of the country and the welfare of the people.

Dr. Mahathir added that Malaysia does not subscribe to any ideology. They are capitalist, market oriented people but more importantly, they are pragmatists. “We believe in doing what can be done, not because it is dictated by any ideology,” he said. “We are willing to reject capitalism when it is not good for us.”
Dr. Mahathir said the present global crisis is due to government’s abdicating their role in the market.
He said he does not subscribe to the beliefs that the market should be free to regulate itself and that there should be less government. “This is what resulted in the sub prime crisis in America. We are pragmatists and not being tied to ideology has proven to be useful to us.”

Dr. Mahathir said Malaysia was willing to go against the accepted wisdom during the 1997/98 Asian financial crisis when it questioned accepted rules and did not succumb to what the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) thought was the solution.
“Sri Lanka could take Malaysia as a model while learning from other East Asian countries” said Former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad addressing the media in Colombo on ‘On the way forward for Sri Lanka’.

Sri Lanka should encourage more foreign investors to fast track development and not depend too much on foreign loans.

He said the country needs external resources but should not depend too much on borrowings which could stifle growth. People should work and generate capital for development.

“Malaysia rejected aid from the IMF during the Asian financial crisis as it did not want dominance from an external force. Malaysia implemented its own policies to revive the economy”, Dr. Mohamad said. The West had been a model but today the focus has been shifted towards Asia which is an emerging region.

Malaysia is a model for its accelerated economic growth spearheaded by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad during his tenure of 22 years from 1981-2003. The per capita income in Malaysia increased from US$ 450 to US$ 9000 in 2003 due to the dynamic leadership, vision and foresight of Dr. Mohamad.

Asked whether he had been called upon to be an advisor to Sri Lanka Dr. Mohamad said that he was more comfortable to deliver speeches than undertake that task.

“The war is history and now the country should focus on development. Sri Lanka should live in Asia and not necessarily need to look at the West for a model”, he said that he noticed changes in the country since his last visit five years ago and added that there will be rapid growth in the country following the end of the 30-year conflict.

“Growth in Sri Lanka was affected due to the long conflict and now there is room for development.

The leaders are keen to develop the country and achieve objectives”, he said.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dr M Criticizes Jala's "Bankrupt" Claim

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has criticized the report by Datuk Seri Idris Jala, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department who said that the country will go bankrupt if the subsidies were not reduced. Dr Mahathir said that Idris had exaggerated in his claims and that the country would instead become ‘poor’ and might not go bankrupt.

He said “Perhaps Idris was exaggerating. We are not going to be bankrupt but we are going to be poor. When the country is doing well, most people are working and they are creating wealth and then the government will tax them but in a recession that is when most of the people are unemployed and yet that is the time when we need the most amount of money. At the time when the country is in recession and the government has no money. We need to accept but I hope that the government will do this gradually and not suddenly pull the carpet from under your feet,”

He added that “In Malaysia, we must accept that when prices of raw materials go up then the prices of the end-product must also go up. You know the prices of petrol during my time was US$30 but at one time it went up to US$140. Imagine the amount of money that the government has to roll out. Especially now when our country’s oil production has been reduced to less than 500,000 barrels per day and we use more than 400,000 barrels a day. Therefore we only have 100,000 barrels to sell,”

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Corruption of Mahathir : Bangkok Post

Dr. M touring a wax museum.

The corruption of Mahathir: SOROS' REPLY TO MAHATHIR - Adapted
from Bangkok Post (Banned locally in Malaysia)

I have always said Dr Mahathir is a menace to his own people. Now only you can see the effects of his foolishness when the ringgit has halved its value overnight and your economy goes kaput. Single handedly you have caused hardship to millions of your own people. You have built useless mega projects at tremendous cost to the country.

The telecoms tower in Kuala Lumpur and the highest building in the world show how stupid you are. Not only does it cause massive traffic jam, it has totally no purpose.

If you need high ground for telecoms antennae a nearby mountain is there for free.

This tower has no purpose from the ground up to 300 metres. The
satelites make this totally unneccesary. A fool and his money are soon
parted. The only thing is you are the fool and the money belongs to Malaysians. You make 20% in every project, you have real estate in Japan and billions of shares corruptly acquired.

Your 3 sons are worth 8 billion US$. Where do they get this money? Of course, corruption.

You are known as the Marcos of Malaysia, having enriched yourself to the tune of billions.

You dare to shed crocodile tears during UMNO delegates meeting about the ills of corruption.

Yet you are the most corrupt of all the prime ministers before you.
A thief is crying thief and hopes people look the other way. Who dares to say anything when the chief is caught with his hands in the candy jar?

You said wisdom is not the monopoly of the West. So is foolishness. You have more foolishness than most people would believe. Billions are used to build two high rise Petronas buildings that benefit nobody. They now stand tall, a symbol of stupidity and irresponsibility. Instead they just add on to traffic jams. What is this reclamation of 10 islands off Kedah? Totally absurd and stupid. Of course your benefit is 20%. And the bridge across from Malacca to Sumatra across international waters?

Why not build a bridge to the moon? I am sure you still can get your 20%. You called me a Moron. How can a Moron make so much money. By allowing short selling and borrowing millions of shares from your banks we fund managers made millions out of your inexperience and poor regulations.

You lose all Malaysians' money, therefore you are the Moron. Now you know too late and start crying over spilt milk.

In Australia you are known as the recalcitrant ego maniac; in UK the corrupt bastard because of your stupid purchase of our movie studio and the 290 million ringgit Lotus racing car plant and the shady Pergau dam loans from the UK. They are useless to us and you still want to buy them.

What about buying British reject submarines through your agent, of course. The agent/ broker is designed to make millions out of the Malaysian government.

Your purchase of our battleships is at least 50% more than others are paying. Your purchase of 9 hospitals from UK lock, stock and barrel does not support your local architects or your industry and the British send you obsolete medical equipment. The design is atrocious, one end to the other is half a kilometer and there is no CT-scan, an absolute necessity.

In the UK your face appears in no less than 17 newspapers as a corrupt dictator. In Malaysia you are known as the (IBM) International Big Mouth. In Japan they call you the 'smallest one' (brain size). In Pacific islands, the Santa Claus (giving advice left and right). In south America they call you the parrot (he talks a lot but does not know what it is about). In Manila the living Marcos.

In Malaysia they are spending millions to lure tourists and you talk rubbish scaring every foreigner away. When he is dumb he is doubted a fool, when he opens his mouth it removes all doubt."

While I agree the West does not have the monopoly to wisdom, your actions are not the wisest either. Your EAEC has totally no support even in Asean. Your South-South dialogue meets with the same fate and what is this I hear of the Bridge from Peninsula Malaysia to Sumatra covering 20 miles across International shipping lane?

How crazy can one get? Even the Japanese don't have the money. This world's stupidity seems to be concentrated in one man's mind - yours.

The multimedia super corridor - MSC -. Well in USA its Most Stupid Concept because we Americans, would have thought of it light years before. Even if it makes money, we can copy this concept can't we?

Why do you want to spend your hard-earned money doing questionable projects? It will be like the Bakun project. Abandoned fund wasted and another white elephant. I always say politicians should not be involved in business. Your ministers are also businessmen and almost every official is enriching himself. Look at Rafidah Aziz, selling thousands of Approved Permits (APs) for cars each worth 20-30 thousand Malaysian dollars. Why not your government sell them and make the money? She has acquired millions of shares meant for bumis for free before she agrees to list them.

Look at your Selangor Chief Minister collecting millions for approving high rise buildings from businessman. He is worth a few billions. Unfortunately he was caught with a few million pocket money in Australia.

Every Chief minister is awarding useless projects to his cronies then collecting secret pay offs on the side. The Land Development Boards and the Economic Development Boards are used to bail out any loses suffered by politicians. The profits they keep, the loses they force the Government bodies to absorb. How can your poor ever close the gap when every good deal is snatched by your politicians? How can your country get out of poverty if all the billions of corruption money is taken out of the country?

Look at the Sarawak Chief Minister selling billions worth of timber concessions under the table; selling every piece of state land to businessmen without tender; using his own companies to obtain lucrative government contracts; selling approval signatures for a fee 'you pay I approve'. He has 8 billion US stashed overseas. Thousands of acres of land are given to one or two companies while thousands of poor people still live in cardboard makeshift homes; have no water and shit into the river..

Thousands of acres of land are sold to companies for plantations while the natives do not have even one acre to their name. He is selling sand near the beaches to one company for earth filling and then ask the government to spend millions to protect the coastline when erosion occurs.

He lost 300 million of the Sarawak government money trying to make computer chips. He has built a port in Northern Sarawak town in water so shallow it needs dredging every year. The Prime Minister built highways without tender, your cronies get the deal and the price double. Your Langkawi airport runway was built double the cost by your own company, Ekran.

The Malaysian nation has lost at least 30 billions during your last 10 years of corrupt rule. One billion lost from the purchase of phantom Skyhawk war planes nobody has ever seen (are they still in the Nevada desert, USA?). 3 billion lost from the London tin scandal (you thought you could corner the London tin market without knowing the Americans have a stockpile! Stupidity at its best. 6 billion Perwaja steel mill where nobody even knows where the money goes, 3 billion bank Bumiputra scandal when George Tan bribed all the bank officials to lend him the money.. 6 billion forex lost by Bank Negara (the fool and his money are soon parted) and 6 billion to build three of the world's tallest buildings (built by Japanese and Koreans and furniture imported from France - not Malaysia) and 1 billion lost from purchase of British warships including fees paid to the broker and under the table.
Add the 10 billion you stole and 5 billion taken by Ministers.

In the 1997 the World Journalists meeting voted Dr Mahathir the Prime Minister of the Decade. It sounded strange to everybody until it was revealed those who voted against are threatened by IRD officers and with losing their jobs. In New York the United Nations 1997 meeting, the most corrupt Prime Minister of the decade is President Suharto and second Dr Mahathir (Actually Dr Mahathir should take first place but bribed the Indonesians to take honour of Number One.

There are Fifty thousand of your university students not given places in Malaysia but are good enough for places overseas resulting in billions of dollars lost. The British and the Australians are thinking how stupid. Your best students are sent overseas raising their standards while as in most countries the best are kept in local universities and the rejects sent overseas..A university student in Hong Kong is much more prestigeous than any Australian counterpart. You have been colonised by the British so long you cannot even educate your own people. Look at Hong Kong or
Singapore, less than 5% study overseas. All the money saved. Your country could save billions if every student overseas is recalled to a local university, and at the same time raising your own standards.

Your people are still without shoes, without land to farm, without homes, bathing in rivers shitting in holes in the ground, without water and electricity. Your cities are concrete jungles without greenery and open spaces. Your KL is jammed with traffic. Yet you still keep on building high rises. You should come down from the clouds and stop daydreaming and firmly plant your feet in the ground. Your schools are cramped 500 students to an acre and thousands of acres are given free to some politicians who leave them idle. Your parks are being taken by politicians to build
shophouses and every cabinet minister is a land-grabbing businessman who builds roads only to their cronies' land.

The Malaysians' Prayer, "Ya Allah, we thank you for your gifts of timber, oil and grain. But then the devil sent us corrupt Mahathir without a Brain and look we are back to square one again. So just take Dr Mahathir back to Hell And we will be alive and well."

In China people have been shot for embezzling one thousand dollars. With 8 billion you have stolen, therefore you would be shot 80 thousand times. Now you are leading an anti-corruption campaign. We all know what you should do. Look yourself in the mirror. You see the crooked you. Then use your left hand and handcuff your right hand. You have put the opposition leader and his son in jail when they said in parliament you are the richest PM in the world. And his colleague Mr Karpal Singh too for 2 years.

So I get a reward or bribe if I now say you are the poorest PM in this world? Your 3 sons are sitting on the board of directors of more than 200 companies. They must have been educated in Harvard school of business and obtained distintions? Or is it "you don't know me, you don't do business in Malaysia" law that applies. Billions of ringgit of Employee's Provident Fund and public Petronas funds are used to bail out your sons who make losses investing in every venture you thought you could make money.

How unethical and corrupt. Every one of your politicians is sitting on the board of tens of companies making thousands without any effort, lending
their VIP names to borrow millions from local banks without collateral..
Now these have become non- performing loans. Now you want 20 million
Malaysians to sacrifice for the folly of ONE man? Why not the fool resign
and admit he wasted and took most of the money. I could teach you how to put your economy on track but first you must apologize to the Malaysian people.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dr M sought to explain his anti-Chinese stance

Dr M: Chinese will back Barisan Nasional if needs are taken care of.

JOHOR BARU, MALAYSIA - The Chinese community will support Barisan Nasional if their interests such as business opportunities are taken care of, said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Based on his own experience, Dr Mahathir said he was initially viewed as an ultra-Malay and that all Chinese felt doomed when he was chosen as deputy prime minister back then.

'However, Barisan's win in 1999 and the previous years were due to their (Chinese) support.

'It is important to assist the bumiputra and Malays but we must also take care of their (Chinese) rights,' he told newsmen after launching the Malaysian Association of Youth Clubs' veteran card yesterday.

On another matter, Dr Mahathir urged Umno members to voice their concerns if their leaders were not on the right track.

'If they feel that their leaders are not listening, they can even challenge them.

'There must be some challenges in the party to enable us to rise to the occasion,' he said. Dr Mahathir cited examples of how he was challenged by leaders such as Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

'The problem is that the Malays do not understand the democratic system.

'They think if they have a party, they must support it even if the party is wrong,' he said

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Should Tun Dr Mahathir bows out gracefully?

'He should end his career to unite the people whom he was partly responsible in dividing. He could be the catalyst of integration. It is time for him to give back to the non-Muslims whom he has hurt so much in his career.'

The two sides of Mahathir Mohamad

Multi Racial: I believe Dr Mahathir Mohamad wanted to develop Malaysia. But not necessary what he did was right. I believe he genuinely want to help the Malays. Again, not necessary what he did was right.

If you look back on his journey. There were good things done and there were bad ones too. I suppose the bad ones left a big wound in the nation's soul that will takes years to heal. I understand he championed the Malays when he was a young politician. A lot of it got to do with the Umno style of politics where one needs to be racist to go up the leader.

Look at Najib Razak when he was a youth leader. The same applies to Hishammuddin Hussein, who did equally racist things. But this got to stop especially for a former prime minister.

He should end his career to unite the people whom he was partly responsible in dividing. He could be the catalyst of integration. It is time for him to give back to the non-Muslims whom he has hurt so much in his career.

Ubi Wan Kenobi: Barry Wain has done an admirable job with his book on Mahathir. But I differ with him when he states that Mahathir was only pretending to believe 9/11 was staged. I think Mahathir has researched the subject sufficiently to realise it was just another sandiwara, but on a mind-boggingly colossal scale.

Chuentick: "He taught his children right from wrong, how to work hard, no short cuts to success, good manners and respect for authority" - are you sure about this? Look at the instant millionaires in his family!

Susah Kes: By their fruits, you will know them. And what are Mahathir's fruits in the years that he ruled? I don't need to second guess Mahathir and his motives. What he is fighting for today has a lot to do with the possibility that there is a genuine chance of Pakatan Rakyat taking over Putrajaya one day.

Mahathir isn't stupid to know what happens to dictators - and their family members - when there is a change in government. He remembers well Suharto, Marcos, the Shah of Iran, etc. Thirty years of Umno rule from the time Mahathir stepped into the PM's post and his foundations for nation-building have us now staring at the possibility of a failed nation, if we haven't become one yet.

We - the present generation - have to now undertake to clean up the mess that he and Umno have made of this country so that perhaps our children can get a decent chance in this country.

Magnus: Perhaps if Barry Wain were to read up on the personality traits of the Myer-Briggs ESTJ (Extroverted thinking with sensing) psychological archetype, he will come across a more plausible personality analysis for this politician, who without batting an eyelash, executed an unimaginably cruel and unIslamic political hatchet job on his own chosen deputy, fellow Umno member and pedigree Malay "prince of the soil".

As he now desperately wants to prevent Anwar Ibrahim from becoming the next PM, I'd take a wild guess that this is really why he now appears to fight tooth and nail "for the Malays" who if you recall, he so conveniently abandoned in favour of the elitist Umnoputras for all those 22 long years while he held power.

Anonymous: He destroyed the Malays who challenged him, using all the apparatus of government shamelessly. He robbed and conned the rakyat in every elections and stole the people's money through his negotiated tender system, which was actually a robbers' system. He messed up education, the judiciary, the transport system, the constitution, the police, security of the people and screwed Malaysia up with his hare-brained ideas.

Fairplayer: I doubt whether Dr M ever had/has any conscience. To me, he is a man who would stop at nothing to get to the top, regardless of whose heads he steps on. I can never forget his Operation Lallang swoop on the rakyat. He literally killed freedom from then on...

Myop101: All said and done, his era has ended. It is time we take stock and move ahead. It is easy to destroy, but it takes real courage and determination to build. The independent institutions that were undermined would need years to rebuilt, and getting rid of BN would be the first step.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Dr M says Oilfields were given to Brunei

Pro-Malay group Perkasa has urged Prime Minister Najib Razak's administration to form a royal commission to investigate allegations, raised by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, over offshore oil fields that were allegedly given to Brunei in exchange for Brunei dropping its claim to Limbang in Sarawak.

Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali said a lot of questions still remained unanswered, despite Dr Mahathir's successor, former Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, refuting Dr Mahathir's allegations suggesting mismanagement of billions in oil revenues.

"Perkasa wants Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the government, to set a royal commission or at least a white paper on the issue on oil blocks L and M, situated at the borders of Malaysia-Brunei," the Pasir Mas MP said, referring to the areas in question. A royal commission is a major public inquiry, often for controversial matters of wide interest.

"I am not being prejudiced to either Dr Mahathir or Mr Abdullah Badawi, but ... this needs to be explained, the oil blocks are worth billions," said the Perkasa chief.

In a statement on Saturday, national oil company Petronas confirmed that the oil blocks were no longer part of Malaysia, but said that it will develop the oil blocks with Brunei on a "commercial basis", The Malaysian Insider reported yesterday.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dr M rallies Malays to rise against the NEM

Speak up if unhappy with NEM, Dr M tells Malays
May 14, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, May 14 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today asked the Malays to thoroughly study the New Economic Model (NEM) and boldly voice out their views if they are unhappy with certain provisions in the model.

The former prime minister said he was concerned over some fundamentals in the NEM that could eventually lead to inaccurate government policies.

“We don’t want to ask for more under the NEM but we want our views to be given serious attention,” he said at the Malay Entrepreneurs’ Convention hosted by the Malay Chamber of Commerce Malaysia.

Dr Mahathir (picture) said the Malays can send a memorandum to the government to express their opinions on certain issues envisaged in the NEM but their actions must be orderly and they should not resort to demonstrations.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak unveiled the first stage of the NEM on March 30.

Dr Mahathir said there was no government in the world that could draw up a flawless policy for the people.

Therefore, it was the people’s duty to study (government policies) and make constructive suggestions (for improvement), he said.

Dr Mahathir said he was given the opportunity to study the NEM before it was introduced to the people by the prime minister.

“In fact, I’ve sent a personal memorandum (to the government), giving my views on matters that I am not happy with. There are still concerns on whether the NEM is fair to all races or not,” said Dr Mahathir, who helmed the nation for 22 years.

He said he disagreed with views that the New Economic Policy (NEP), under which a vast majority of Bumiputeras benefited, was a hindrance to progress as many non-Bumiputeras also gained from the policy.

Dr Mahathir pointed out that many non-Bumiputeras had become millionaires in the country and in fact, Malaysians who secured big contracts and projects overseas like in the Middle East, majority of them were non-Bumiputeras.

“Don’t make the NEP as the basis to claim that Malaysia has not developed. For instance, is it true the government’s (special) treatment to Bumiputera entrepreneurs has jeopardised the nation’s economy? he asked.

Dr Mahathir said at that time the government had to take care of the Bumiputeras because they were not given a fair deal by the private sector.

He said the government had to act so that the private sector also played its role to ensure the NEP’s success.

“Not that we want to give them crutches, we want to stand on our own legs, but there are still some who are unable to walk properly or whose legs are weak, so we help them a bit,” he added. — Bernama

Friday, May 7, 2010

Dr M calls for reform to Global Financial System

Call for fresh Bretton Woods-type conclave
T. Ramavarman
ABU DHABI — Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Mahathir Mohamad has called for a fresh conclave of the all the countries of the globe to evolve reforms in the global financial and monetary system to prevent the recurrence of the ongoing financial crisis.

This conference to be arranged along the lines of the Bretton Woods conference of the early twentieth century, should thoroughly examine the lapses and abuses in the present practices and systems that had led to the current global financial crisis with the participation of all the countries, he said.

Dr Mahathir who is also the Honourary President of the Perdana Leadership Foundation was delivering a talk on ‘The Global Financial Crisis: Lessons Learned and Way Forward’ at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research, or ECSSR, here on Wednesday night.

Emphasising that the proposed conclave should be inclusive, the practice of some rich nations arbitrarily selecting few countries for a conference to frame prescriptions for managing the economy of other nations should be abolished, he said.
Market cannot regulate itself

He said one of the important lessons to be learnt from the present crisis is that market cannot regulate itself.

The whole idea of market is to make money and if it starts regulating, then the operators in it cannot make money. The idea that ‘‘market will regulate itself,’’ and they should be left completely free, is no more acceptable.

“The Governments must not abdicate its responsibility of regulating the market as a neutral third party. The idea that ‘lesser the government the better’ has come copper in the wake of the global financial crisis. The governments come back, to rule, to introduce laws and to regulate the markets,” Mahathir said.

“The banks and financial institutions must be directed to adhere to the principles of prudence when lending. They should not indiscriminately lend much more than the money they have, and should not lend to people who do not have the capacity to repay. The financial markets should be limited to avoid undue play of speculators and gamblers,” he said.

“Limiting of financial markets may lead to shrinking of the GDPs and per capita income or PCI of nations. But these figures do not actually indicate the real prosperity of the nations. The presence of few millionaires and billionaires in a country can inflate the GDP and PCIs of nations, which may in fact be facing poverty. We need to evolve newer criteria to evaluate the real wealth of a country,” he said.

After the crisis subsides, many of the rich countries will be poorer that what they were appearing to be before. These nations were appearing to be rich by projecting the GDP and PCI figures, he said in reply to questions.

Replying to another question he said he hoped capitalism would emerge cleaner after the present crisis through the introduction of reforms in market mechanisms, financial systems and monetary structures, and reducing scope for abuses and manipulations.

Even though the Islamic Finance systems had adopted several methods to prevent abuses the growing tendency to introduce products similar to the conventional financial systems into the Islamic System can push it also into a crisis, Dr Mahathir said.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Book on Mahathir in explosive demand

KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — Palgrave Macmillan, the publisher of a controversial biopic on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, is printing an extra 5,000 copies for Malaysia after all 500 initial copies were snapped up, said the book’s author Barry Wain.

This comes as city bookshops such as Kinokuniya and Borders said that they sold out of the book “Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times” written by Wain, the former editor of the Asian Wall Street Journal.

MPH Bookstores said they almost sold out of the book and has it as a “What’s Hot” item on their website.

“The publisher has now decided on a fifth reprint — a sixth printing — of 5,000 books,” Wain told The Malaysian Insider via e-mail yesterday. “They will be sent to Malaysia to meet exploding demand.”

He added that a total of 1,300 copies were rushed to Malaysia from Singapore, all of which were all sold last week. Another 2,380 copies were sent from Hong Kong to Malaysia, and these were soon booked and are being distributed this week.

Wain said about 12,500 copies of the book have been sold so far in Asia and Australia.

The book was approved for sale by the Home Ministry only in late April, months after it was first launched in Asia in December.

The author also said hundreds or even thousands of the copies that were sold in Singapore since the launch could have been bought for or by Malaysians.

“Maverick” came into the spotlight after it asserted that up to RM100 billion was squandered under Mahathir’s watch via grandiose projects and corruption, and that the fierce US critic had sealed a secret military deal with the US.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Mahathir - a hero or a villain?

Mahathir: Maverick, machiavellian or merely mainstream?
Is Mahathir a maverick, machiavellian in his ways or merely mainstream? That’s the question Maznah Mohamad poses in her review of Barry Wain’s book ‘Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times'.

My first reaction to the book was, how could this be any different from the several others already written of the man, for example, that of Khoo Boo Teik’s Paradoxes of Mahathirism and In-Won Hwang’s Personalised Politics (Not forgetting articles and commentaries generated by countless number of print and virtual writers before this)?

After going through the first few chapters of the book I knew that this was going to be different, more impactful and more of a fine strike at the core of the matter.

Mahathir has remained enigmatic and so far, seems to be unmoved by the tons of criticisms directed at him. Perhaps this was balanced by the loads of adulation and fawning by his coterie of loyalists, as exemplified by the quality of the commentators in his own blog (which could number up to a 1,000 comments for a single post, with most starting their address with Yang dikasihi Tun – The Most Beloved Tun).

In gossip circles, Mahathir is known to have the thickest skin on the planet and is impervious to any verbal assaults on his character and his ways. People are astounded by his ability to trounce all of his rivals and those he simply could not tolerate even when he is out of power.

Mahathir is perhaps the only person in the world who could evoke sympathy on this by proclaiming that he was wronged by the wrong people he had chosen to be under him, from Musa Hitam to Abdullah Badawi. He survived at least five major financial scandals and still had the audacity to reprimand his heir-apparent Abdullah Badawi by sniping in one of his blog postings that Abdullah’s “Mr Clean image meant that he had cleaned everything up”.

The following had become standard facts, not just opinions — he destroyed the independence of the judiciary, manipulated democracy and controlled the media to his liking and is still able to say that he had been denied his freedom of expression by the Abdullah government. It appears that there is no remorse in the man, nothing can break him, and he remained confident right up to Barry Wain’s last line in the book that his wrongs would some day be debunked.

For those reasons above Mahathir Mohamad is a tale worth telling and re-telling. What I like most about this book is that it just tells the story as it is, rather than try to link the episodes to some abstract generalisation or grand theories. This makes the book richer because it does not straightjacket the reader’s thinking into a particular direction. The book charts the rise of Mahathir, his stepping down, small-steps, really because he was never a hair’s-breadth away from the centre of power.

Style of book
The book is written in a breezy and enthralling style, at some parts it is almost like a political thriller and would make great material for a film of that genre. The most remarkable thing is that it is not fiction, and were a film to be made about Mahathir it would really be a case of art imitating life.

It is indeed an achievement that Wain’s book manages to focus on the personal, even heart-warming sides of Mahathir, the family man, but ends up as a powerful treatise of the public Malaysia.

The party state
From 1981 till today, Mahathir has given Malaysia its particular feature as a state. The most useful, if not intriguing concept that Wain has stated (just once on page 53) in describing Malaysia under Mahathir is that he had created a party-state. Hence, the useful contribution of the book is that it has provided much data to chart the birth of this party-state, its peaking and its possible eventual decline.

This concept of the party-state, though not elaborated by Wain, appears as the trademark of the Mahathir-rule. Elsewhere, studies on the Kuomintang in Taiwan by Karl Fields have indicated the blurring of the distinction between party and state as leading to this particular phenomenon of the party-state. This would be a good time to undertake a comparative study of all the “party-states” of Asia – Umno, KMT, LDP and the PAP, to name the most outstanding ones.

I summarise Wain’s suggestion of this same phenomenon developing in Malaysia which quite clearly originated from Mahathir’s ascendance to power. They are associated with how he had:

• weakened state and informal institutions
• packed the state bureaucracy with loyalists rather than technocrats
• intervened to subdue the judiciary so that it would yield results whenever the leader or the party’s political control is endangered.
• downgraded the status of the MCA and the MIC, which were coalition party stalwarts of equal standing with Umno before this.
• blended and merged Mahathir the strongman with Malaysia the rising middle-power state.

Malaysia was nothing but Mahathir, but Mahathir was larger than Malaysia. Not that he is unaware of this view as lately he had become quite defensive of his actions. In one of the more recent blog entries, he declared, “Thank you for agreeing that I am a dictator. Tell me which dictator ever resign. (sic)”

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Mahathir says those who want to take away Malay rights are selfish

Dr M says those who want to take away Malay crutches are selfish
By Leslie Lau

KUALA LUMPUR, April 17 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad continued to stir the debate over the special rights of the Malays today by describing those who advocate the removal of affirmative action policies that benefit Bumiputeras as selfish.

“In making use of the provision for the ‘special positions’ of the Malays, the post-1969 leaders came up with affirmative action.

“These are undoubtedly ‘crutches’ and crutches should be discarded as soon as strength is gained. Only the selfish would advocate throwing away the crutches of others simply because they have already made good use of their own,” the former prime minister wrote in a posting on his blog today.

The debate over the special rights of Malays has gained traction since Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak introduced the outline of his New Economic Model (NEM) which promises the continuation of affirmative action which is based on needs and not race.

The PM has been sensitive to the potential controversy over such an inclusive approach by arguing that a needs-based approach would still largely benefit Bumiputeras.

But a number of Malay groups have been advocating an entrenchment of NEP-style affirmative action policies as part of Malay special rights even though the PM has admitted the current approach of giving a leg-up to Malays and Bumiputeras has promoted rent-seeking and patronage.

Dr Mahathir argued today that while the constitution did not mention Malay rights, “the mention of the special position of the Malays implies recognition of certain positions and privileges that they hold.”

“The leaders of the time, the Tunku, Tun Razak, Tun Sambanthan and Tun Tan Siew Sin understood the ‘special position’ of the Malays as the indigenous people of Tanah Melayu, the ‘Malay Land’.

“For this recognition by the non-Malay leaders, something had to be done to reciprocate their acceptance. The Tunku agreed to waive the conditions for becoming citizens so that one million non-Malays could become citizens with all the citizenship rights, ignoring the required qualifying conditions.”

Social contracts, Dr Mahathir pointed out, are obviously unwritten, and is an understanding based on trust.

He said it was a measure of Malay trust of the non-Malays that they were prepared to give up what they had gained in the fight against the Malayan Union to accommodate those whose loyalty to the country was unproven.

Since last year, the Najib administration has been walking a tightrope in gradually liberalising the economy, introducing a number of measures to allow the economy to embrace a more free-market approach.

In trying to open up the economy Najib has also had to manage the emergence of Malay groups such as Perkasa who advocate fighting for Malay rights.

Dr Mahathir has emerged as an important patron of Perkasa, a group which has warned that the Chinese community were determine to take control of the country.

Perkasa, while not openly endorsed by Najib, consists of mainly Umno members who still wield influence in the ruling party.

A growing number of non-Malays and even Malays, particularly those born in the country after Merdeka, are unhappy with the perception among such groups like Perkasa who appear to see affirmative action policies as part of Malay rights.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Handling of Capitalism: Dr Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR: Capitalism must be very carefully handled although it is a good system, said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Dr Mahathir said events that led to the present global financial crisis, which affected the West very much showed that uncontrolled capital could actually destroy even the big economies.

Capitalism has many different interpretations, some declare it as complete free movement of capital into a country to invest and exploit while others feel that there should be some control over the movement of capital.

"Because capital is a very powerful actually can destroy an economy as much as it can build an economy. Many countries now especially in Asia are wary of complete free flow of capital," he said from Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in a question and answer session about the future of capitalism, in a video conference interview.

The session was conducted by Dr Frank-Jurgen Richter, the President and founder of Horasis: The Global Visions Community, an independent international organisation committed to enacting visions for a sustainable future, in conjunction with the Plus International Expressway Conference and Exhibition 2101, which ended here today.

Talking further about the cause of the present financial crisis, Dr Mahathir who is in the capital city of the Balkan state for a visit, said that governments in many countries abdicated their role because they decided that the market will control the economy and the market would play the role of regulating itself.

"But the market is about making money. So, when they saw a chance to abuse the system to get money for themselves...they did not hesitate," he said.

As such, Dr Mahathir said that governments need to regulate the functions of banks and make sure banks did not lend far too much money.

"The crisis started because too much capital (was) lend out without any proper consideration as to the prudence of lending money to the people, who actually turned out unable to pay their debts," he said.

Answering a question on the rise of protectionism in the United States and Europe, Dr Mahathir
pointed out that most countries in the world including East Asia had the tendency to protect certain industries regarded as of national character or very crucial to the economic growth of their country.

"So we had to accept that there cannot be really total openness...some countries will try to protect not by tariffs or physical blockage but by having certain conditions such as qualities...specification, etc...which means in effect you have become protectionist," he said.

On China, Dr Mahathir urged those who had the idea that China posed a threat to the world, to re-think about it.

"Because China is there and will be there, no matter what you do, and is going to be a great world power...but I think to curb China's growth and all that is not the right approach.

"You have to accept that China is going to be very strong economically and strong economies obviously must have strong military capability to protect themselves. This is not a threat to the world," said Dr Mahathir.- Bernama

The courts and the Law — Dr Mahathir Mohamad

I think it was the President of the Bar Council who pointed out that the law provides for a judge to accuse a person with contempt of his court and to punish him.

I am not disputing this legal provision. But we know of the cynical reference to some laws being an ass. In fact many lawyers would claim that the Internal Security Act which provides for detention without trial as bad law, and many have urged that the law be removed from the statute books.

The reason cited is that without a hearing in a court of law, the executive has assumed the role of prosecutor, judge and executioner. In today’s society this is a denial of justice.

But the same people, who strongly object to the ISA, support the law providing for contempt of court in which the aggrieved judge becomes the prosecutor, the judge and the executioner.

Clearly we are seeing double standards in the implementation of justice.

To say that the judge knows best as to the culpability of the accused person is to once again breach the principles of justice. A judge should not know and prejudge a case. He should be quite ignorant of the case coming before him and he should allow himself to decide simply based on the evidence put before him, the words of the witnesses and the pleadings of the prosecutor and the counsel for the accused person.

If a judge is also a witness to the case then he would be biased and cannot possibly do justice to the case.

There is certainly a need for a law against contempt of the court but it should follow the same procedures as applicable to all other cases including being heard by other than the aggrieved judge.

The charge should be made properly. There should be no arbitrary arrest before a charge is made. The accused person should be given his right to hear the charge and to state his defences before a judge who is not personally involved.

Court procedures would take time but in the case of Matthias Chang, there was really no hurry as he was in fact given one week to pay the fine or be jailed. In fact when he turned up on the stipulated day the judge was not available and he was told to come back the next day.

Yet when he willingly went back the next day to surrender, he was told that his arrest would be made in the car park.

I suppose this is again standard procedure but it would amount to additional punishment because it would humiliate him.

At the time of writing this in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, I am told he is unconscious because he had chosen to protest by fasting against the injustice of the way the law was used by the judge.

The Government may not be moved by his act but if it does not then it would compare very badly indeed against the British Raj which responded humanely to the fast by Ghandi.

Matthias' health in poor form

He is 'weak and dehydrated', says lawyer of Dr Mahathir's ex-political secretary

FIGHTING FOR A CAUSE: Chang in hunger strike in prison

KUALA LUMPUR: Matthias Chang's condition has taken a turn for the worse.

His lawyer, Manjit Singh, told The Malay Mail this morning that the lawyer was "weak and dehydrated" due to his selfimposed hunger strike.

Despite his condition, 60-year-old Chang, the former political secretary to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, is adamant to continue with his hunger strike in protest against a month-long sentence for contempt.

"He is expected to be sent to the hospital soon," he said when contacted at 11am today.

"He doesn't want to stop his hunger strike, contending that it was a matter of principles. He is adamant, arguing that he has done nothing wrong."

His persistence has caused anxiety for his family members and friends.

Yesterday, Manjit had told The Malay Mail that Chang's health was "rapidly deteriorating" in the Kajang prison. Doctors at Serdang hospital were alarmed when Chang insisted on being returned to prison despite not having fully recovered.

Incarcerated on Friday, Chang was rushed to the Serdang hospital on Monday afternoon and placed on intravenous (IV) drips. When these IV drips were stopped, Chang still refused to consume anything and insisted on returning to his prison cell, reasoning that he could recover faster there.

"Chang returned to the Kajang Civil Prison on Wednesday morning but it was quite premature because he did not receive a clean bill of health to leave," he said.

"But because of his persistence, it's back to square one with the doctors saying that his condition is a cause for concern."

Stating his client has been frequently visited by family and friends at prison and the hospital, Manjit said the RM20,000 fine was not the issue.

"Many of his friends have come forward with the money. But, he has refused their offer. Not that he doesn't have the money either," said Manjit.

Instead of being in the comfort of his home a long time ago, Chang instead chose to share his cell with fellow inmates.

"Being a man of principles, Chang refuses to give in to injustice. That's why he's still on hunger strike.

"His family, relatives and friends are looking at alternative options of helping him without his consent. This is workable. Actually, anyone can pay the fine."

Chang was cited for contempt on March 25 when he refused to apologise after a spat with High Court judge Noor Azian Shaari and a lawyer during crossexamination in his breach of contract and defamation suit against American Express (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd.

He was ordered to serve a month-long sentence after refusing to pay the RM20,000 fine for contempt.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Listen to Perkasa : Dr. M

PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has advised Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak not to ignore Malay rights movement Perkasa as it has become a force to be reckoned with.

The former prime minister said Najib should listen to views expressed by Perkasa, which is a mouthpiece of the Malay community.

“Listen to their views, whether it is sane or insane. Failure to listen will result in lost votes as the Malays are his core constituents.

“The Government is listening to the grouses of other communities and it should also listen to the grouses of the Malays,’’ he said when opening Perkasa’s first AGM at Putra World Trade Centre yesterday.

Dr Mahathir said the recent sprouting of Malay-based NGOs like Perkasa that expressed views on political issues affecting the community reflected erosion of confidence in Umno.
Sound advice: Dr Mahathir making his point clear during Perkasa’s inaugural assembly in Kuala Lumpur yesterday. — AP

“For 50 years we did not see the existence of such NGOs because Umno had always championed Malay issues,’’ he said, stressing that the New Economic Policy had never hindered development.

Dr Mahathir also revealed that certain quarters had advised him against attending the Perkasa event, claiming that it would tarnish his name and reputation. “Perkasa is not an extremist or a violent group; its objective is to defend and protect the rights of the Malays.”

Noting that Malaysia did not record significant growth over the last six years at a time when racial bickering took centre stage, Dr Mahathir said sensitive religious and racial issues should be discussed behind closed doors for the sake of stability.

He also chided detractors who made unfounded claims that Malays had grabbed everything from scholarships to government projects.

On Kulim-Bandar Baru MP Zulkifli Noordin’s revelation in Parliament that Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had conspired to topple Najib by linking him to the murder of Altantunya Shaaribuu, the former premier said he was not surprised. “Even when he was serving as my deputy, he conspired to topple me.

“He is nice in front of me, but behind my back, he was plotting my downfall with someone from Negri Sembilan,’’ he revealed.

Dr Mahathir said Anwar would cry conspiracy when he was caught in a position where he could not explain himself.

Earlier, Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali took a swipe at DAP for propagating its Malaysian Malaysia agenda.

Without naming PAS, Ibrahim also hit out at “a certain Islamist party for selling out religion” for selfish gains.

He also chided Anwar for getting foreigners to condemn Malaysia over his sodomy trial.

Ibrahim expressed full support for Najib, stressing that Perkasa was not a political party and that it wished to see Umno return to its original struggle to defend the Malays.

Perkasa presented the inaugural Bintang Perkasa award to Dr Mahathir, whom it described as the nation’s greatest statesman.

Najib urged to safeguard Malay rights

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak has proved in his one year at the helm of the country that he is a leader with ideas.

This was the accolade given to Najib by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the country's longest-serving prime minister.

"He is a better leader," Dr Mahathir said when asked for his opinion on Najib's performance over the last one year.

"I feel he has some good ideas," he said after opening the inaugural annual general meeting of Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia (Perkasa) here yesterday.

Earlier in his speech, Dr Mahathir said he hoped Najib, who is also Barisan Nasional chairman, could win back the confidence of the Malays in Umno and the BN-led government.

"I hope that just as he is now listening to the grouses brought up by the various races in the country, he will not forget to listen to the grievances of the Malays.

"He should also ensure that the rights of the needy are not taken away and given to those who are well to do."