Mahathir is evil because we encourage him...Are we going to continue to accept his lies and half-truths time and time again? Or are we going to pressure the Judiciary and the few men of integrity left in this institution, to punish those who are guilty of treason? It is our responsibility to change our destiny.--Mariam Mokhtar
Former Prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s lack of contrition, is breathtaking but not totally unexpected. We have lost all trust in our politicians, because of him. He stultified our minds, with 40 years of brainwashing.
During his tenure, money greased the wheels of government. Knowledge, or the acquisition of knowledge was restricted, so that in time, he could become master of a compliant rakyat. This is what we have been reduced to, a nation of yes-men who are powerless to act, in the face of mounting recalcitrance.
Mahathir’s 90 minute performance at the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into Sabah’s illegal immigrant problem, is testimony of his arrogance. He believes that he is invincible. As the 209th witness at the RCI, he behaved like an arrogant buffoon. He showed his contempt for the proceedings, the court and the rakyat.
He denied any knowledge of Project IC and instead blamed low-ranking officers for issuing identity cards to foreigners. A weak leader is one who blames everyone else, including society, for things that went wrong. Should Mahathir be jailed for contempt of court and perjury?
Why has the head of the Civil Service kept quiet? Why is the union which represents the civil servants, not publicly defended the good name of its members?
More often than not, UMNO Baru politicians use and abuse the civil servants to further their political agendas but when Mahathir insults the civil servants, not one UMNO Baru politician has dared to protect them.
What of the junior civil servants themselves? Have they protested their innocence? Is it any wonder politicians like Mahathir have nothing but contempt for people who keep quiet when bullies ravage their reputations.
The day after his testimony, Mahathir insinuated that Anwar Ibrahim, his one-time Deputy, was responsible for Project IC. Mahathir said, “He was in the government, he knew the government’s policy. If that was the government’s policy, why didn’t he stop it?”
As some people get older, they enter their second childhood. Mahathir’s childish response is perhaps, a manifestation of this second childhood. He is like the spoilt child who wants to be the centre of attraction. At times, he acts like the neglected child craving affection, by playing guessing games.
When asked by reporters if he was referring to Anwar, Mahathir sneered, “Maybe”. Is giving a direct answer beyond Mahathir’s comprehension? His supercilious response is like the child who is privy to a secret and feels superior to everyone else.
Any member of the rakyat who goes to a government department is aware that no decision is made without the approval of a civil servant with authority. Senior staff await orders from the top.
Mahathir claimed not to know anything about Project IC. What sort of PM was he, who did not know what was happening in his country? Hundreds of thousands, were given MyKads.
This mammoth operation needed clearance from the highest authority in the land. Mahathir must try harder if he thinks he can continue to pull the wool over our eyes.
By the same token, the rakyat must try harder to remove all traces of Mahathir and his legacy, if this country is to move forwards without the politics of division and mistrust.
In 1987, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah challenged Mahathir in the UMNO party elections, but believing the outcome to be tainted, took his fight to the courts. The old UMNO party was declared illegal as it had not registered some of its branches.
Ku Li started his own party Semangat 46, whilst Mahathir formed UMNO Baru. The vindictive Mahathir dismissed the Lord President of the Supreme Court and castrated the judiciary with a rusty knife. Ku Li is now back in the UMNO Baru fold. Situation normal then?
Anwar launched an attack on Mahathir when he wanted the government to adopt an austerity package and he opposed a number of Mahathir’s fiscal measures in the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis.
Mahathir threw Anwar in jail on trumped-up charges of sodomy, insubordination and corruption, but he was freed and later cleared of these charges, when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became PM.
In 2013, the Opposition won the popular vote, but massive cheating returned UMNO Baru to power. Handouts like BR1M and other petty cash bribes are enough to dull the average Malaysian mind.
Now that UMNO Baru has broken all the promises it made before GE13, some who voted for UMNO Baru have finally realised their mistake. What about the rest? Are they still in denial?
A few years ago, Mahathir claimed that he had opposed Operation Lalang, the sweep to imprison his critics in 1987. He said that it was instigated by the Police, a charge confirmed by Hanif Omar, the IGP during Mahathir’s tenure. Close buddies will come to each other’s aid.
Similarly, Mahathir denied that he had a hand in the Memali massacre of 1985 and blamed Musa Hitam, his Deputy. The trend is that Mahathir ‘disappears’, when something nasty happens.
Changing our destiny
Mahathir denied that there was any corruption in the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project when billions of ringgits were lost.Mahathir claimed not to remember his role in the VK Lingam scandal, where judges who were aligned to him were selected for higher office.
People who testified in the Sabah RCI, claimed that Mahathir gave the nod to open the flood gates and allow Filipinos and Indonesians who were Muslims, to be given ICs.
Mahathir betrayed the rakyat and altered the face, culture and genetic pool of our country. He poisoned our trust in politicians.
Mahathir has consistently lied in other RCIs, despite the evidence that was presented in court. Mahathir equates himself with Umno Baru, which in turn, identifies itself with the Malays, who have this notion that Malaysia belongs to them.
It does not! Malaysia belongs to rightful Malaysians.The problem is not Mahathir. The problem is us. Mahathir is evil because we encourage him.
Are we going to continue to accept his lies and half-truths time and time again? Or are we going to pressure the judiciary and the few men of integrity left in this institution, to punish those who are guilty of treason? It is our responsibility to change our destiny.
Mariam Mokhtar is a FMT columnist.