MAHATHIR – Stubborn Character
October 21, 2008, 2:15 pm
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How do you expect such a character to let go? He has his own vision of how things should be done and over the years of his premiership, he ensured that this was maintained and any opposition would be put to the guillotine!

He showed signs of this inclination when he challenged the Tunku (Abdul Rahman) after the former lost in the 1969 elections culminating in his book, “The Malay Dilemma”. That got him the sack from UMNO ….. but it also got him a following. After Tun Razak got him back into UMNO, he slowly moved up the ladder and somehow got his breakthrough when Hussein Onn made him the No.2.

I still remember the pictures of Mahathir earnestly showing Hussein Onn to his car on the latter’s last day as Premier. After that, Mahathir got to work. One of his first directive was to lift the ban on “The Malay Dilemma”. I admit becoming a fan of his then after reading the book. Then he teamed up with Musa Hitam with his “Bersih,Cekap & Amanah”  (Clean, Efficient & Trustworthy) slogan. In hindsight, one would think it was rather hypocritical of him but what he subsequently implemented ….. which we are still suffering the effects from ….. were due to the circumstances he felt were imposed on him.

In his fight with Razaleigh for the UMNO Presidency, he said that he would continue to serve even if he won by one vote. In the end, he won by 43 votes and serve he did ….. and he ensured that he remained incumbent by using the one thing that (nearly) everyone would succumb to – MONEY! Together with his able lieutenant, Daim Zainuddin, they controlled the purse strings to everything in UMNO and the Government. This would be in the form of contracts that were to be awarded, positions in companies, commissions, bodies etc. The result is that he would buy their loyalty.

Obviously these hand outs were not above board. They had to be below! Why? Because once these cronies bite, he has a file on them. And should they try to be Judas, he would open the books on them. This practice has perpetuated over his 22 years of premiership and is rotten to the core! Everything has its limit and the limit reared its head not in 2008 but in 2004 when the people gave Badawi the mandate to clean up the Mahathir mess. Badawi did not do it, thanks to the likes of Khairy and therefore was thrown out in 2008.


Will Najib be able to do it with help from the likes of Rosmah? Well, I hope I am proven wrong. I may not be as old as Mahathir but I hope I am proven wrong.


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