From saving nation from Dr M, to saving it with Dr M


Malaysiakini
3.3.2016

COMMENT “Mahathir wants me dead but I pray that Mahathir will live to 100 years to see the decline and end of Mahathirism.”

Little did Lim Kit Siang know at the time that Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s influence would dwindle within the next three years of him uttering those words.

Fast backward, prior to the last general election, the 75-year-old DAP stalwart was furious because the 90-year-old former premier wanted the voters in Gelang Patah to put Lim’s political career in a coffin.

Lim said Mahathir’s “kubur” (grave) remark elicited a “rapturous response” from then deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin who declared “I was ‘trapped’ in Gelang Patah and that I was ‘finished’ politically.”

There was not the only thing which ruffled his feathers.

Mahathir had also warned that Lim, should he be elected, would bring conflict and antagonism among the races, especially between the Chinese and the Malays.

“When Lim decided to contest in Chinese-majority Gelang Patah, it is because he wanted the Chinese there and in Johor to reject working together and sharing with the Malays.

“An unhealthy racial confrontation would replace Sino-Malay cooperation which has made Malaysia stable and prosperous.

“That cooperation would end when Kit Siang wins Gelang Patah,” he said.

But now, it appears that Mahathir and Lim – having won Gelang Patah – are willing to bury the decades-long hatchet and work together to save the nation from Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Prior to this, Lim had spent most of his political career attempting to save Malaysia from Mahathir while the latter was dead set on saving Malaysia from the former.

For example, in a blog posting in 2012, Lim responded to Mahathir on the reasons for BN’s dismal performance in the 2008 polls under the stewardship of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“The reason why Abdullah suffered the worst Umno/BN electoral defeat in the 2008 general election is because he failed to live up to his promise in the landslide 2004 general election victory to begin the serious task to dismantle the Mahathirish legacy of corruption, cronyism, and abuses of power.

“Recently, Mahathir has resurrected the worst strains of Mahathirism viz rabid racism, to the curses of corruption, cronyism and abuses of power, when he stoked racial fears among the Malays with his warnings that Malays will lose power if Umno loses the next general election, that Najib is a weak prime minister and that reforms could spark unrest, that the 13GE will be about race and that the Chinese voters are the kingmakers for the 13GE and will decide who forms the government – exhortations which are not only untrue, most incendiary, and highly provocative, but totally against five decades of Malaysian nation-building, his own Vision 2020 of Bangsa Malaysia, and Najib’s 1Malaysia concept.”

In December 2014, Lim lamented that instead of showing a benign and constructive influence in Malaysian life and politics, Mahathir had become an “evil influence”.

“Mahathir is not in retirement but is hyper-active in speaking engagements to continue his fear-mongering, incitement of hate, and spreading of lies,” Lim thundered.

But then again this is politics, and in the words of Mahathir himself, there are no permanent friends nor foes. Alliances change, according to common interests.

Furthermore, politicians do suffer from amnesiac spells.

Indeed, the recent meeting between Mahathir and Lim “to find a solution to the national cul de sac” shows that politics is really the art of the possible.

Tomorrow, Mahathir is expected to ink a joint declaration with a gaggle of opposition leaders, some of whom had suffered the brunt of Mahathirism.

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  1. #1 by good coolie on Friday, 4 March 2016 - 12:10 am

    This is Mahatir’s chance to make his peace with loyal Malaysians. Bring back the spirit of 1957. Best Wishes to the two, once foes.

  2. #2 by Godfather on Friday, 4 March 2016 - 7:17 am

    I had consistently taken the view that Mahathir should be held accountable for all his misdeeds, and I still hold the view that there must be a truth commission on all his abuses of power even after he is gone. My frustrations with him grow deep, as some of the readers here will know, and I keep writing the mantra “May Allah give Mahathir long life so that he will see the destruction that he has wrought on Bolehland”.

    Yes, I am in a sense vindicated that Mahathir’s actions while in power has contributed to the damage to the country and to society. However, there is still time to rescue the country from the excesses of the current leadership. If we don’t do anything now, the country will go to the dogs because the current leadership is hell bent to take whatever they can from the nation’s coffers.

    The country can’t wait, the people can’t wait, and we can’t claim helplessness. It is now a case of “better the devil we know than the devil we don’t”. Get rid of the den of thieves now, and we will deal with Mahathir AFTER the country is saved.

  3. #3 by TLoChin on Friday, 4 March 2016 - 8:04 am

    Let us just pray that the former PM is sincere and not using Kit and the others for his own selfish ends.
    God bless Malaysia!

  4. #4 by Godfather on Friday, 4 March 2016 - 5:47 pm

    I had consistently taken the view that Mahathir should be held accountable for all his misdeeds, and I still hold the view that there must be a truth commission on all his abuses of power even after he is gone. My frustrations with him grow deep, as some of the readers here will know, and I keep writing the mantra “May [email protected] give Mahathir long life so that he will see the destruction that he has wrought on Bolehland”.

    Yes, I am in a sense vindicated that Mahathir’s actions while in power has contributed to the damage to the country and to society. However, there is still time to rescue the country from the excesses of the current leadership. If we don’t do anything now, the country will go to the dogs because the current leadership is hell bent to take whatever they can from the nation’s coffers.

    The country can’t wait, the people can’t wait, and we can’t claim helplessness. It is now a case of “better the devil we know than the devil we don’t”. Get rid of the den of thieves now, and we will deal with Mahathir AFTER the country is saved.

  5. #5 by the reds on Friday, 4 March 2016 - 10:42 pm

    Interesting article… Dramatic, but it is truth…Not sure how long this episode will drag?

  6. #6 by boh-liao on Saturday, 5 March 2016 - 4:46 pm

    Working with d devil VS another bigger devil
    No principle n honor

  7. #7 by Jason on Saturday, 5 March 2016 - 6:52 pm

    Dear Kit Siang, Principled actions promote trust and respect. It is really sad to see DAP losing its principles. This cooperation with Dr M just reeks with opportunistic intensions. We ought to be better than this.

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