BERITA DAILY LETTER: From Tajuddin Rosli, via e-mail

Over the past week, numerous individuals have come forward dishing out their expert opinion on why Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the man who can “save” Malaysia and undo the alleged widespread wrongdoings in the country.

On certain instances they say we should not judge Mahathir by his past mistakes but on the other hand they second Mahathir’s name as the prime minister designate based on his past achievements.

It is very confusing. So, do we look at his past or not? Or do we “only” look at the good times and ignore the bad? Although the latter far surpasses the former.

Mahathir was bad until 2016 while he was in Umno. Now Mahathir is good because he is with Pakatan Harapan. If by any chance he rejoins Umno and BN in the near future he becomes a bad man again?

Opposition has no other credible leader?

Mira Newgen Party who claims not to be pro-Mahathir certainly believes that the Pakatan Harapan has no other credible individual to be the next prime minister.

They have been very candid with their opinion stating that Azmin Ali, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Muhyiddin Yassin are weak leaders who cannot govern the nation. This Mira New Gen Party seems to be another mushroom that popped out to win over Indian votes.

Are they insinuating that the opposition is so weak in leadership that a 93-year-old man needs to come back and lead?

Are they saying that in the event Mahathir quits the opposition or leaves, we should all not vote the opposition because they cannot govern the country?

They claim Mahathir is the only opposition leader with vast experience without any political ambition.

Upon leaving Umno in 2016 for the second time, Mahathir said, “If I wanted my son to be prime minister, I could have promoted him during the time I was prime minister.”

He also added that he did not practice nepotism.

Not long ago, Khairy Jamaluddin triumphed in the 2009 Umno Youth elections. Despite winning, Khairy was conveniently omitted from holding any important portfolios compared to his predecessors.

He did not have a clout of government post whereas his deputy Razali Ibrahim and rival Mukhriz Mahathir (who lost to Khairy in the Youth elections) were made deputy ministers.

The head of Wanita Umno then was made a full minister and the Puteri Chief a deputy minister.

Are you saying that Mahathir had nothing to do with this? Is this just another Salleh Abas situation where Mahathir did not do anything?

Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM)

While you can boast about Mahathir’s 22 years tenure, can you also name one credible leader that he gave rise to?

Anyone who opposed him either went behind bars or got the sack. So which part of great leadership quality that Mahathir possesses?

As renowned American author John C Maxwell states, “Leader’s become great not because of their power, but because of their ability to empower others”.

Speaking about empowerment, lets not look too far behind. Dissect the power struggles in PPBM and the truth stares at you back.

PPBM’s founding member Kamarulazman Habibur Rahman quit the party last year citing foul play in the organisation. Just days ago he released a statement highlighting Mukhriz’s growth in PPBM.

According to Kamarulazman, Mukhriz was initially appointed as the treasurer of PPBM.

Extraordinary meetings were allegedly held after that and miraculously Mukhriz has been elevated up the leadership ladder twice without proper elections, that now he is the deputy president.

Complaints have been filed to the Registrar of Societies (ROS) by their own members alleging irregularities in the AGM. PPBM has hardly been able to stand on their feet but members are quitting citing poor leadership.

Rewind back, and you see a similar picture during the establishment of Umno Baru under Mahathir. It was only Mahathir’s away. Any other way was deemed a betrayal.

Even Tunku Abdul Rahman was not allowed to be part of Umno Baru. As the Umno Baru boat became rocky, Mahathir caused turmoil in the country.

In an interview, the late Tunku said, “You see, the whole trouble today is, when he took over, he was trying to make sure he would stay on in power”.

Fast-forward to 2017… Mahathir is being propelled to be the man to hold power (again) and his son is being continuously pushed upward to lead.

Mahathir again is doing everything, this time not so much for himself but more for his son to stay in power. He is trying to cook the same meal using different ingredients.

Marginalisation

Numerous keyboard warriors from Hindraf and Mira Newgen Party are scoffing at government’s efforts through the Malaysian Indian Blueprint. They allege that it is just another document that is not going to happen.

Some even claim that Mahathir did a lot for the Indian community.

Pre-Mahathir era, Indians held various prominent positions in the service sector. Post-Mahathir era, Indians are pleading for more representations in the service sector. What happened in between, during the Mahathir era?

Before the Malaysian New Economic Policy (NEP), the service sector boasted 60.8% Malays, 20.2% Chinese, and 17.4% Indians. In 2005 the representation was 77.04% Malays, 9.37% Chinese, and only 5.12% Indians. The numbers dwindled under whose leadership?

While certain quarters may say Mahathir is a changed man and he is trying to correct the wrong, it is all assumptions.

Till date, he persists he was right in all his actions. He even said his apology recently was not for the wrongs he did but was for the “maybe wrongs” that affected certain individuals.

But there is nothing different about Mahathir’s behavior that would suggest he is truly ashamed and sorry about his past.

Without a doubt, Mahathir did bring about lots of development to the nation. Technological growth and sky-scrappers put Malaysia on the map.

But so did sacking of Salleh Abas and high court judges. We also became an international topic with corruption, cronyism, racism, money-politics, dictatorship, Anwar Ibrahim, sodomy, court proceedings, and many more.

With big mega projects, Malaysia boomed, but at what cost? Sepang International Circuit, Proton, MAS (to name a few) never generated proper ROIs. Year in-year out bailouts was required. Was it all-necessary? Are we a society of White Elephants?

While we try to curry favour of a PM-designate by hailing him as a saviour and hoping to positively shift the public opinion, one should always remember not to make a fool of the readers.

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