Mahathir’s false accusation of Tunku


by K. Siladass

Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, former prime minister had indeed accused Malaysia’s first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman of having done something not permitted by law by granting citizenship to one million foreign immigrants.

Historians of repute will be quick to confirm how inhuman, unsound, flippant and exasperating is Mahathir’s allegation. The granting of citizenship to “foreign immigrants” was not the work of one man – Tunku alone. Besides, it is wicked of Mahathir to claim that one million or so residents in Malaya were purely immigrants ignoring the fact that they had lived in this country for generations; and had been an integral part in the resistance against the Japanese occupation and in the fight against communism. Those one million or so “foreign immigrants” as Mahathir arrogantly and wickedly describes are the ones who saw the economic progress of this country from the time the East India Company arrived here, under constant perilous conditions.

It is indeed shocking that Mahathir had not acquainted himself of the negotiations among the Alliance Partners consisting of UMNO-MCA-MIC, the predecessor of Barisan Nasional (BN) which played a prominent role in achieving Merdeka. Aside this, it is also shocking that a man of Mahathir’s stature would descend to cheap politics in hurling condemnation against the late Tunku, who was indeed instrumental in ensuring that the radicals from all sides did not scuttle the movement towards Merdeka by their emotional actions.

These historical facts are there for the world to see; that the partners in Alliance were concerned as to the type of policy that had to be adopted and implemented after Merdeka in relation to education, citizenship and Malay special privileges. These were classified as sensitive issues and it is fair to infer that there must have been a lot of debate over them.

While the citizenship was a thorny issue beginning with the question whether it should be granted on the basis of jus soli or other format, after much consideration and upon reaching consensus on the issues of education and Malay special privileges the Alliance partners agreed on the jus soli principle for citizenship. Further, it was also agreed that the residential qualification shall be less restrictive than the previous requirement. However, according to Joseph M. Fernando, “The Making of the Malayan Constitution (2002)”, the residential qualification was reduced to eight years. The authors Barbara Watson Andaya and Leonard Y. Andaya in their “A History of Malaysia” (2nd edn.) have stated very distinctly the circumstances leading to the compromises reached by the Alliance Partners, and also referring to other features that must have been very significant, namely the influence of the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) which was wielding its influence, and its association with left wing Malay nationalists, coupled with the dissatisfaction of the Chinese community with the British; who also seemed to be easy target for MCP’s recruitment. The combination of all these developments would have derailed every effort to find solutions to problems that were tormenting the leaders of all races at that time. These are the other considerations which eventually led to the compromises which everyone in the Alliance was reasonably satisfied.

Granting of citizenship was a joint decision in which decision making process UMNO was the dominant partner. Therefore, it is patently wrong for Mahathir to single out Tunku and condemn him as having done something out of the ordinary. The situation demanded a solution and common sense prevailed to tackle the situation in a pragmatic manner and that was what precisely done. Mahathir’s condemnation is indeed a mischievous distortion, an attempt to conceal or cloud his own illegality in granting citizenship to illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants can never be equated with those who had come here legally and raised their families and contributed for the well-being of this country. When others had come to exploit and take away the wealth of this country those one million immigrants who were granted citizenship had worked hard to earn that right and had reinvested their earnings in this country.

Mahathir and his cronies should realise that there is a world of difference between the status of those who aspired to become citizens under the Alliance arrangement and those that were granted by Mahathir. During the Tunku’s premiership citizenship was granted to those who were legally living in this country for decades. They were not illegal immigrants. The Sabah situation was totally different when illegal immigrants’ status was altered to one of lawful citizens of Malaysia by Mahathir to benefit one political party which was led by him.

Another point Mahathir makes is that by granting citizenship to one million “immigrants”, the Malays’ power had been diluted. Any fair-minded person will tell that this is a preposterous fancy and we have to stomach it because he was an erstwhile premier and the press gives him undue publicity.

Mahathir also claims that not all those who were granted citizenship in Sabah voted for BN. One cannot look for a baser excuse than this.

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  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 9 February 2013 - 6:06 pm

    He is now saying THE political issue of Malaysia today is simply because Malays want to fight to be PM of this country..

    Its not just Tunku Mahathir insulted and still is insulting – he is insulting Malays as a race. He is saying the problems are the Malays themselves, not the corruption, the abuse of power, the waste, the injustices and the breaking down of law and order.

    He is saying Malays are pathetic unlike the special one of HIMSELF..

  2. #2 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 9 February 2013 - 6:18 pm

    The Grand Weasel of Malaysia dreams of amending the Federal Constitution to strip Ambiga of her malaysian citizenship.

    Hmmmm….who wants a weasel, even if he is an ex-PM, as a Malaysian citizen. Maybe, we should amend the constitution to strip the citizenship of weasels and traitors who sell citizenship papers to stay in power under a “Vote-for-citizenship” Project M thingey.

  3. #3 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 9 February 2013 - 6:25 pm

    Mahathir is a cheapo for hitting the endeared Tunku below the belt posthumously.

    Mahathir should be aware the dirt and filthy stories that will emerge when his bones are interred. Already, whilst he is still throwing his weight around, the sewers are overflowing with stories of his misdeeds….

    What an extravaganza of scandals and sensationalism galore when this old man plays on the other shores of eternity?

    Hmmmm….. This old man, he plays one..

  4. #4 by sotong on Saturday, 9 February 2013 - 6:44 pm

    He is a traitor but he is not alone in this huge and successful operation to achieve their politics of numbers at all costs – many people are involved.

    The saddest part is many see him as a ‘hero’.

  5. #5 by boh-liao on Saturday, 9 February 2013 - 6:54 pm

    MMK, d evil n corrupt devil, shows his true color again! He has $ billions n knows many countries will welcome him with open arms n open legs

  6. #6 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 9 February 2013 - 7:35 pm

    Mahathir has had so many blood transfusions, one never knows what his blood DNA is anymore!

    Oops, of course red blood cells is non-nucleated, so blood has no DNA, right?

    Maybe that explains why Mahathir is such a chameleon; he changes as the winds quite unlike Caesar, he has a forked tongue (look out Year of the Snake!), and he tries to look smart – that is the problem – and people think all doctors are smarties. Sure, only some are evil.

  7. #7 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Saturday, 9 February 2013 - 8:09 pm

    Mahathir may be older but not necessarily wiser. I have heard him long enough to detect his nonsensical assertions. Noticeably, with advancing years much of his assertions smacks more and more of his senescence. It’s just his terrible opinions much like the following limerick (paraphrased):

    I do not like thee, Doctor Fell (also read: Dr M)
    The reason why I cannot tell
    But this I know, I know full well
    I do not like thee, Dr. Fell.

  8. #8 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 9 February 2013 - 8:24 pm

    By his many controversial rantings on Tunku, Najib to step down if GE results worse off than 2008, change of laws to srip Ambiga & those who oppose govt of citizenship etc he is defining the election as Mahathirism and its political legacy versus Change (PR). Good luck if he thinks that what he stands for still has currency and popularity to score for BN a convincing victory. It may be a tipping point for defeat!

  9. #9 by Bigjoe on Saturday, 9 February 2013 - 10:08 pm

    Mahathir accuses Anwar of being good at working the crowd with lies or twisting things but now ITS EVERYTHING THEY and HIMSELF DOES. NOTHING that comes out from Mahathir mouth these days is wholely honest. The twisting of the facts and perspective is simply his insult of the Malay race and his disgust of them..To him, they do not deserve an honest debate, they should just listen to his arguments which, with a reasonable critical brain, and enough honesty, is always twisted or even just simply based on a lie – just to justify the ends he wants.

    In other words, Mahathir is our Marcos, Mugabe, Mubarak and Mahathir today is also the Marcos, Mugabe, Mubarak when everything was going down the drain for them and their country..

  10. #10 by rjbeee on Saturday, 9 February 2013 - 10:55 pm

    Mamak your time is up Hope we have a public holiday…Traitors and terrorists are breeding here…..Bumi this Bumi that not enough …what about others …..semua mahu….

  11. #11 by yhsiew on Sunday, 10 February 2013 - 1:55 am

    How can Mamak be so ungrateful (忘恩负意)? The one million migrants had contributed enormously to the nation’s economy. Without their hard work and perseverance, Malaysia would not have been what it is today.

  12. #12 by Noble House on Sunday, 10 February 2013 - 2:14 am

    Bapa Malaysia is still very much loved by all Malaysians irrespective of race even today. This separates him from Mahathir who, at 87, is still fighting to sustain his legacy. That’s the saddest thing ever for an old man to do. The Tunku was right about him all along.

  13. #13 by chengho on Sunday, 10 February 2013 - 3:40 am

    RCI 1957 vs RCI 2013 =1

  14. #14 by Loh on Sunday, 10 February 2013 - 4:59 am

    Mamakthir talks as if BN is sure to win because he thinks that the citizenship-for-vote scheme now extended beyond Sabah makes governance irrelevant to electability of the incumbent. These voters along with the so-called absentee voters will carry enough federal seats for BN to return to power, just like how Mamakthir got two-third majority during his reign. That is also why he is talking about winning two-third majority whereas based on BN records of corruption and malfeasance BN can never win.

    Winning or losing is a matter to be decided in months. Mamakthir might not live to see GE 13. Yet he is concerned about the results.

  15. #15 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 10 February 2013 - 7:38 am

    There’s no point arguing logic against Tun Dr Mahathir (TDM)’s accusation against Tunku or other ranting. TDM is not interested in rational debate. He is focused on UMNO/BN’s victory in coming GE. This to protect his legacy family friends etc (even after he has gone to meet his maker). He thinks, and has been successful in Malaysian politics leveraging on what he identified as majority vote bank’s insecurities and fears, communal and religious divide and rule tactics. Its not appeal to logic that worked. It has always been appeal to emotions centered around tribal/primordial instincts of race and religion tribal Based on these he could galvanise support to usher the Tunku’s exit and his personal rise to power.

  16. #16 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 10 February 2013 - 8:02 am

    What he fears (correctly) most is French Novelist/Historian Victor Hugo (1802-1885) dictum in book Histoire d’un Crime – “One can resist the invasion of armies; one cannot resist the invasion of ideas” which somehow has been reparaphrased (when translated in English) to nothing is more powerful than ‘idea whose time has come’, and that idea is “Political Change” that Pakatan cleverly used as theme for 2008 & coming GE. He is worried than masses embrace “Change” like the latest fashion and with todays social media and internet scene this idea can go “viral”. From India (Gandhi’s civil disobedience) to US’s Martin Luther Jr. (I have a Dream- against racial segregation culminating to “black” Obama’s breaking glass ceiling to be president) the idea of change is powerful! It spawned the Arab Spring – from less developed Tunisia, Egypt, Syria to 1st world Singapore (latest, Punggol East by-election). The power of the idea of change is feared- it hits at competent and successful govt as it would, doubly more, failed and incompetent ones. What TDM is drumming again and again to his constituency that carries decisive vote is – “don’t t take this idea, stick to mine!” He sponsored Perkasa to check Najib just in case the latter get carried away to pander to this “new fashion” on the ground too much and transform beyond superficial level TDM’s legacy that holds everything together within UMNO’s firmament of control and power over the country.

  17. #17 by tuahpekkong on Sunday, 10 February 2013 - 12:17 pm

    I don’t think Mamak had not acquainted himself with the negotiations among the Alliance Partners. I think this intelligent old man has got every fact at his finger-tips. He only pretended to be muddled-headed because he had an axe to grind. He once said before he stepped down that he wanted to be closer to God. I don’t think he had done much to foster unity among the various races in the country after he gave up the PMship. I think he is going “down” instead of going “up”.

  18. #18 by sotong on Sunday, 10 February 2013 - 2:24 pm

    In the best interest of the country and her people, he and many other ‘ politicians ‘ should leave politics and retire or find an honest job.

  19. #19 by Evenmind on Sunday, 10 February 2013 - 2:27 pm

    Mamak mee has been altering the course of Malaysian History from day one. He is not senile , he really is very mean person. How can you have any respect for a man who do not even recognize his own roots. His legacy would a be a division of Malaysia according to race , religion and his fancies.

  20. #20 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Sunday, 10 February 2013 - 4:37 pm

    Mahathir is the PM Malaysia was unfortunate to have.

    Let us not allow history to repeat himself.

    Whoever is UMNO’s choice, Mahathir will be the puppeteer.

    Mahathir OUT! BN out!

  21. #21 by good coolie on Sunday, 10 February 2013 - 11:17 pm

    No one racial group could do without the other in the quest for independence of Malaya from British rule. Also, the communists (I wish I would be allowed to use crude profanities to describe them) could not have been defeated without the co-operation of every racial group.

    Does Dr.Mahatir think that the British would have given independence to Malaya without the lenient conferment of citiizenship on immigrant races, especially on the basis of “jus soli”? Would the immigrant inhabitants of the Straits Settlement have agreed to the Malayan federation without conferment on them of citizenship?
    Dr. Mahatir has selective memory of the contribution of non-Malays to Malaya/Malaysia. He has come to believe in his own propaganda.

  22. #22 by balance88 on Monday, 11 February 2013 - 9:42 am

    Mahathir is not senile and neither does he not know his history. He has full knowledge of the historical facts and he is using this knowledge to wiggle his way out to absolve himself of all wrong. Quite akin to the cyclist, Armstrong who claims he doped to level the playing field. Well, 2 wrongs don’t make you right.

    In fact these people are hypocrites. Mahathir is still alive and the Tunku is demised, so there is no way Tunku can rebutt his argument. The Alliance did the logical thing and their intention was good, that is to gain “Merdeka” to free the people from British rule. Mahathir’s intention was bad, that is to continue to rule the country at all cost even if it meant cheating. Since the intent is different, how then can you equate the acts.

    Believe me, this man is smart and there will be some stupid ones out there who will probably say this man has a point.

    Time for change!

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