Dr M’s 4Rs coming home to roost

Mariam Mokhtar
Jun 23, 2014

Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has had a terrible month. His formula of using the 4Rs – race, royalty, the rural people and religion – to deceive the rural voters, most of whom have supported Umno Baru, is disintegrating.

One of the few good things which Mahathir did was to clip the wings of the sultans in the 80s, especially during the period when the rakyat appeared to be helpless in the face of criminal acts being perpetrated by the people to whom the rakyat professed their allegiance.

Mahathir’s emasculation of royalty was half complete. In recent weeks, the Johor sultan flexed his economic muscles, but the response of the politicians and rakyat was muted. Even fewer people were willing to discuss, in public, the awkward divorce of the former sultanah of Johor, months after her husband’s death.

Who dares to say anything, when they are at risk of being persecuted? This is not a respectful silence borne of loyalty, this is keeping silent out of fear.

Meanwhile, the newly-minted sultan of Perak proclaims that he would like to discharge his duties fairly and equitably. He said, “Do not tell me tales, to send me into dreamland, when the reality on the ground is something entirely different from what has been related to me.”

How many of us would like to believe him, especially when the merest mention of anything mildly critical is like a waving a red flag to the inspector-general of police (IGP), and attracts a charge of sedition, a fine and a jail sentence?

If he wishes, the sultan can easily access the alternative media and see the true state of the country, unless he is denied access to the Internet by courtiers who wish to spoonfeed him with propaganda. Surely, Nazrin cannot be so naïve that he believes the mainstream media.

We should thank Mahathir for wanting to propel Malaysia into the 21st century with the Information Super Highway. The new sultan is not living in a bubble. Does he want to believe what he hears, or seek the information for himself?

Perhaps, Mahathir’s most damning revelation was his confession in an interview with Mingguan Malaysia that the Approved Permit (AP) system had been abused by certain Malays, for money, instead of helping other Malays set up businesses. He said, “We want to help the Malays, but they don’t want to help themselves.”

It took 40 years for Mahathir to realise what most of us already knew in the mid-70s. Perhaps, Mahathir should have listened more and stopped being fed information by aides who only wanted to protect their interests.

Will Mahathir be willing to admit to the rural Malays that his policies have failed and that rural Malays were duped? Will he tell the rural Malays that other Malays were responsible for their backwardness? Will Mahathir admit, to the rural Malays, that their lack of success should not be blamed on the non-Malays?

Correcting the other wrongs

Now that Mahathir has finally acknowledged that the AP system has been abused, what will the current Umno Baru administration do to rectify the problem? While they are at it, will the government of Najib Abdul Razak correct the other wrongs which Mahathir and Umno Baru perpetuated, such as petrol station permits, permits for driving schools and taxi permits?

Over the years, billions of ringgits have been spent on schemes to help the Malays but much of this money was squandered or mismanaged. The ordinary Malays have been pampered, feted and courted, and yet they lag behind the other races, economically, educationally, socially and in religious spirit.

Religion – the final ‘R’- will Mahathir admit that his administration’s ban on the use of ‘Allah’ and other words by the non-Muslims has divided Malaysia? The government does not respect the constitution, which guarantees each citizen the right to freedom of religion, furthermore, Bibles have been confiscated. So, will Mahathir help resolve the issue, which he started in the 1980s?

Yesterday, the Shah Alam MP, Khalid Abdul Samad (right), claimed that Jais raid on the Bible Society of Malaysia (BSM) and the raid on a Hindu wedding, were really attacks on the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor government.

He said, “Umno which lost the state government wants to regain its power through the backdoor, so it uses the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais)… The head of Mais is not appointed by the state but by the sultan. The chairperson Mohamad Adzib Mohd Isa is an Umno member.”

Is Khalid not aware that the rakyat have already suspected this, since the day the BSM was raided? We are also suspicious of the wedding raid, just as we are suspicious of the body-snatching in Penang. We know that these are surreptitious plots to undermine the opposition. It is odd that we don’t hear about these incidents in Umno Baru-led states.

The question is not that Khalid said that this is an Umno Baru plot, but that he waits for six months to say it. So now that PAS has acknowledged this, will they do something to remedy the situation before the rakyat’s patience is lost and the state is regained by Umno Baru?

Khalid said that he did not want people to think he was “currying favour with non-Muslims” because “I only defend Islam because Islam teaches us to respect all other religions and their houses of worship.”

People will not condemn Khalid for supporting non-Muslims. As an elected MP, he should defend every one of his constituents, regardless of their race or religion, if they are the victims of an injustice.

Many people see PAS as the chink in the opposition armour. The threat of political Islam and a caliphate looms large in peoples’ minds. PAS needs to work on their image and appeal to every Malaysian. Not just the very conservative Muslims.

If PAS wants to become a mainstream political party, it must abandon policies that are abhorrent to most Malaysians and engage with all the races and religion, of which the rakyat is comprised. The rakyat should not be made to choose between Islam and democracy.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO).

  1. #1 by Noble House on Friday, 27 June 2014 - 3:29 am

    Mahathir is not one to admit for his misdeeds. He can only blame others for that. He knows that time is running out and his past is fast catching up on him – an experience that’s difficult or painful to accept for a man at his age.

    Burdened by stigma or shame from past deeds, he is closed to finding himself at the end of the rope. His choice is to put the past behind him, or wear it like an albatross around his neck.

  2. #2 by Sapere Aude on Friday, 27 June 2014 - 7:06 am

    Mahathir’s criticism of Approved Permits even after laying down the fasces reveals his own censorious aspect. Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t it true that his son was also a beneficiary of APs?

    Mahathir seems to be able to recall almost all past encounters in great detail since his salad days in UMNO, but when he was in court during the RCI of “Lingam Tape” scandal, his eidetic memory played him false. Isn’t it strange?

    Before any man can concur in opinion with Mahathir Mohamed, he/she must either believe that Mahathir neither does now exhibit, nor has at any time exhibited, such circumstances of Machiavellianism.

    As much as he wants to, Mahathir can’t propel history through the Cunning of Reason.

    YB Lim, this Mamak has done enough damage to our social fabrics, we should discontinue lending him an aura of intellectual respectability, stop reporting/relaying on everything he utters, just leave him alone like a plate of “nasi lemak” until it expires!

  3. #3 by winstony on Friday, 27 June 2014 - 7:26 am

    If doping the Malays to think that UMNO is helping them so that those in power can continue to stay in power and helping themselves only, they will continue to do so.
    The only way to counter such deception and duplicity is for the opposition to reach out to the Malays, especially those in the rural areas to realise that they have been duped.
    That’s the only way.
    And the earlier this is done, the better.
    There isn’t much time left before the next GE!!!

  4. #4 by waterfrontcoolie on Friday, 27 June 2014 - 8:10 am

    He side-steps and twists and bend-backs whenever it suits him. The main reason is the Majority of the population has been drugged by him for over 20 years. All wrongs, an they were mighty wrongs were swept aside on his convenience! Being obsessed with his imaginary Opponent,[we all know who] who didn’t even bothers to give him a second look, he had bent on avoiding anything this Opponent had said or acted on; with the thought he would create something better but with the sole aim of just enriching his family and cronies. Proton, after over 25 years of existence is still seeking protection; for that matter all those industries that were started when he was in supreme power; are still seeking the same support from the Gomen! He had permeated the kind of mentality that will eventually destroy not only the fabric of this nation but also our inability to compete in the region! When the kind of IA-type looming over a spineless leader of today; we are not going anywhere; least of all in the ever changing 21st Century.

  5. #5 by Justice Ipsofacto on Friday, 27 June 2014 - 9:08 am

    ///Perhaps, Mahathir should have listened more and stopped being fed information by aides who only wanted to protect their interests.///

    That is a real problem not just with monsterO’mamak but with the entire umno! But really it’s only half the problem. The other half is the talking part. Like monsterO’mamak, umno idiots talked too much. The hokkiens have a phrase for this: “wu e kong boh lu kong”.

    They should have listened to the good old dalai lama who said something like this: “When you talk you are just repeating what you already know but when you listen you may learn something new.”

  6. #6 by bangkoklane on Friday, 27 June 2014 - 10:25 am

    We need religious leadership that preach love of God rather than fear in this modern world.

  7. #7 by PRmaju on Friday, 27 June 2014 - 11:22 am

    one wise judge had described mamakthir most accurately, an evil re-incarnated !

  8. #8 by john on Friday, 27 June 2014 - 1:23 pm

    Whatever Mamak’s intention is ALL about, FOR HIMSELF SOLELY ! ( now to safeguard the LOOT HE STOLEN from the RAKYAT ), and at the expense of the Nation totally, ever since. Just one despicable Mamak, in his life time till end.

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