Tan Sri Abdullah Ahmad, group editor in chief of the New Straits Times, wrote (June 26 2002), “[Mahathir] has...created a legacy so monumental that no one could have presumed his mantle.”
That was what Abdullah Ahmad gushingly said of Mahathir when the great man (Mahathir lah!) announced his resignation on June 22 of that same year. “Hear! Hear!” I say…or as Antares succulently said for the benefit of Ibrahim Ali, “Dengar, Dengar!” I believe that that came from Abdullah’s heart for you cannot write anything so ‘moving’ if it does not come from the heart. Now let me tell you what comes from my heart when I read that.
Who would be foolhardy enough to presumed Mahathir mantle? This man used money and power like no other PM of Malaysia has ever done! Like no other leader in most parts of the civilized world has ever done save for some parts of Africa and some parts of our world where accountability for one action is easily dismissed through the barrel of the gun or the use of political power!
Who would dare to presumed the monumental mantle of this Mahathir who was instrumental in bringing into our way of life such concepts as ISA, nepotism, money politics, greed, privatizations, IPP’s, Perwaja, utter vindictiveness to those that simply do not agree with his point of view, negotiated tenders, a tainted Judiciary, Bakun, crooked bridge, Renong and its horrendous debts, Khir Toyo, Daem, and the list is endless. Every government machinery, every high public office appointment, every political decision made during Mahathir’s time was at his pleasure and made to do your biddings!
No Dollah….nobody would be foolhardy enough to try and assumed that mantle!
All the personal excesses that we now talk about had its beginning, development and reached its zenith during Mahathir’s time. Samy Velu, Rafidah, VK Lingam, Augustine Paul, Liong Sik, Daem, Vicent Tan, Abdullah Ang, Eric Cheah…the mind boggles at the billions these people made at the expense of the nation!
What defines greatness in a man?
"It's not what you take but what you leave behind that defines greatness.” – Edward Gardner.
This man left us with debts measured in billions not millions!
This man left us with monuments of First World stature but failed miserably to prepare our then third world mentality to be ready for these iconic structures. If you bring a nation into an era that it is not ready for, you are being irresponsible!
If you cut corners and award projects to people who YOU think can do the job and they fail to do that job – you take responsibility!
If you do nothing about a leader that robs his own people blind –like Samy Velu did to the Indians – then you take responsibility.
If you take power away from the Sultans and empower UMNO with the same power - and UMNO abused that power – you take responsibility!
When you remove two of your deputies – and in so doing caused:
1) Within UMNO factionalism that forever weakened UMNO
2) and had one of these removed deputies, Anwar, to come back ten years later and inflict upon UMNO its biggest defeat.
You take responsibity.
When you take a dentist and make him MB of Selangor – and this MB then proceed to enrich himself excessively that finally culminated in the loss of Selangor to the opposition – then you take responsibility.
When you take Oil Royalties from Trengganu and Kelantan because the people voted for the opposition, you take responsibility for the suffering of the people within that state who are now without the funds to develop the state.
When you use Petronas money and to bail out your son shipping company to the tune of hundreds of millions using people’s money then you take responsibility for abusing the trust the people placed in you as the guardian of their money.
That a man of your previous stature would require me, a 62 year old man living in Adelaide to write this biting and hurtful article about you simply indicates the depth you have allowed yourself to sink to. This would not happened to the Mahathir that was PM for 22 years – who brooked no challenge to his rule for those 22 years! How things have changed!
You told us to look East. We looked East. You told us to buy British last. We bought British last. You told us to buy Proton we bought Proton – albeit with a little arm-twisting. Possibly all these were relevant at that point in time. So Tun using that analogy, let me respectfully tell you this Tun. You are no longer relevant.
You are no longer relevant in UMNO except to serve the selfish purpose of certain factions. “Dengar dengar!”.
You are no longer relevant to the Malays. You have done enough damage to us and we see thorough your deceptions.
You are no longer relevant to the people in this country. We have all moved on and demand a more open and responsible government. We see through your duplicity and untruths.
Tun you are only relevant to those that still loves you for what you are – a grandfather, a father and a husband. Is it not time that you return their love and their need to have you back in their fold? And that you return the love and respect that they give to you for what you are today? An 84-year-old grandfather, father and husband?
Sir you would need all the goodness that is in Mecca, all the forgiveness that Mandela has shown to the very people that imprisoned him and all the love that the family of Teoh Beng Hock, Kugan and Aminurasyid have for their love ones if you are ever to be forgiven by the people of this country. And I know that even with all that you would still have a hard time walking down the streets of KL without worrying that someone might spit on you…and that Sir is the whole truth and nothing but the truth…so help me God!