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)”