Thursday, April 03, 2008


I find it nothing short of comical that Dr M is now taking the charge to pull down PM Abdullah Badawi through rescinding a rule that he put in place to protect himself. He has gone public to get his UMNO cronies to get AB replaced by changing this rule, which he originally put in place when he was first challenged by Tengku Razaleigh for the Presidency of UNMO back in 1987. This rule required the contestant to have at least 30% of the UMNO party's divisions backing. It was this very rule that kept Dr M. in power for as long as he was, until ill-health forced him to retire. I suppose his health has improved leaps and bounds since then.

Dr M was famously irked by AB for canceling the many programmes and projects he had put in place before he retired. I suppose that is akin to tearing to shreds any vestige of the prestige he could take away with him to the grave. Projects like the KLIA, Petronas Twin Towers, MSC, the Malaysia Car and Cyberjaya are examples of these projects that came to fruition, but many have not turned out to be the successes that he had hoped for. Fortunately, for Singapore, his crooked idea of a crooked bridge to replace the Singapore-Malaysia Causeway was never realised. Maybe that is why AB had to cancel the projects still on the drawing board - so that the country does not waste time and money putting up a veneer of grandeur - grandeur that Malaysia cannot really find meaningful in their lives and are often sources of cronyism, nepotism and corruption.

BN is now more broken that it was just after the losses it suffered in the last GE in March. I can see a gleeful Anwar Ibrahim, who has gone on to form a formal alliance of the 3 major opposition parties that took control of 5 states and denied the BN a 2/3 majority. If the state of turmoil continues in UMNO, and the people in UMNO do not band together instead of fighting one another, then the end may not be far off.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Say what?

Dr Mahathir is again not doing credit to himself and the Islamic world at large. In response to Geert Wilders' Fitna video, Dr M is calling on the entire Muslim world to boycott Dutch products. Can we hear something more original and more effective, please? As a long-serving PM of Malaysia, with geo-political experience, I expect him to have more than a certain level of understanding and knowledge of the world today compared to the common man/woman. Therefore he cannot not be aware of the fact that many people in the Netherlands are Muslims, his brothers and sisters in the faith he professes and claims to be defending in his latest 'call to arms'. His call for the boycott will probably hurt Geert Wilder, but it will also hurt his brothers and sisters in the faith too, many of whom live in the Netherlands today. The world is no longer a monolithic Dutch vs Malays vs Chinese, etc. in any one piece of land. And Dr M labeling every person who is Dutch anti-Islamic just because one of them acts in a certain way is surely immature and unbecoming of a former statesman and PM . I daresay that some 17 year olds can be more mature in thought compared to him. Is he getting senile, I wonder? On the other hand, the Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen has reportedly called on the Islamic world to be level-headed in its response to the film. "Let's keep a cool head and warm relations," Mr Verhagen was quoted as saying in Asharq Al Awsat, which is read in many Arab countries. He has "...distanced his government from the text of the film, which he said made generalisations and was polarising." (Today, 31 Apr 2008 "Dr M calls for Dutch boycott').

Dr. M will do well to keep his own counsel and not shoot off that mouth at every opportunity. It appears that the more he says, the more he chips away at the goodwill and legacy he has built up over so many years among his people and those of the world. Granted not many in the Western world are particularly enamored of this straight-talking man, but continuing to give offence in such as a manner discredits his thinking and makes even his friends cringe.