Malaysians must not be bystanding when Dr Mahathir airs his complaints

 Many Malaysians hold such opinion about PM Abdullah as early as May 2006.

Media response by Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew, DAP CEC member and NGO bureau chief on 2006-10-25 in Petaling Jaya 

We Malaysians cannot afford to be mere bystanders when former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad passes his remarks and criticisms on the present Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. That’s because most of the issues raised by Mahathir were related to national interest of great importance and significance. 

The transcript of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s press conference on Sunday immediately after his one-to-one talk could be found in the Internet websites and blogs.I urge all Malaysians to read the transcript in order to understand the issues concerning this country and act on it. I am only highlighting some major issues raised by Mahathir and offer my observations and opinions. 

So will you support Najib as Umno president?
Dr M: That is hypothetical.
Do you think he will make it as Prime Minister?
Dr M: That is up to them to decide, not for me to decide, not for me to say I support or don’t. It’s entirely dependent upon Umno.
But I must admit that I had appointed Najib deputy prime minister and in the course of time, according to tradition, the deputy prime minister should succeed the prime minister.  

My observation: Mahathir has once again confirmed our belief, that Najib Tun Razak was not chosen by Abdullah. Najib was appointed at the insistance of Mahathir. But Mahathir is now not in favour of Najib anymore because Najib has been playing safe and he was seen giving too much support to Abdullah. That’s why Mahathir mentioned Tengku Razaleigh in his recent interview by Bloomberg.

You said the Chinese would vote for the Opposition, aren’t you afraid that the Opposition will have a bigger majority?
Dr M: Yes, I think it is possible. My assessment is that it is not possible for the Opposition to win but they may be able to reduce the majority of the Government. 

My observation: Mahathir is corect to say that the Chinese would vote for the Opposition. His assessment that the Opposition will not be able to topple the BN Government is also accurate. That’s because BN will certainly dish out some goodies to pacify the Rakyat apart from resorting to cheating and manipulations with the help of the Election Commission (SPR). Besides, the Opposition must really put their act together soonest possible to win the confidence and acceptance of the voters in general. To me, Mahathir should have have also told Abdullah that if he does not buck up, many Indians, Malays, Kadazans, Ibans and other races in general would also vote for the Opposition. What has happened in Sarawak can also takes palce in Peneinsular Malaysia and Sabah.    

Don’t you think what you are doing now is bad for the party?
Dr M: I see that what he is doing now is bad for the party and unless you criticise and stop what he is doing now, it will have bad results for the country. It is not an internal problem of Umno alone. It’s not a question of unity within Umno. Umno cannot win the elections without public support and today the public is very critical of the present conditions, the present economy, the present system of administration, the involvement of family members, the telephone calls, the contracts won by the children’s company. This concerns the public and if the public doesn’t support, even if 100% of Umno were to support our candidates, they will still lose. 

My observation: What Mahathir is doing now is good for the Rakyat. You see, Opposition leaders can bring up the same isues but no chance of seeing the lights. Besides, Umno leaders including Abdullah should be able to differentiate what is voice and what is noise. Heeding some of the good advices can only make Umno cleaner and stronger.The involvement of family members, the telephone calls and the contracts won by the children’s company were unfair to other businessmen. Tell me if these were not corruption, nepotism and cronyism. How could the Malaysian public continue to vote for Umno and other BN component parties if these things were not changed?  

What is your assessment of the Prime Minister’s personal integrity. Is he an honest man?
Dr M: Well, I don’t know. But how does he get involved in the oil-for-food business? He says no, he is not involved but his name is there as the beneficiary. 
My observation: This is one issue Abdullah has not cleared his name. Abdullah has also not explained why he allows RM300 million from the wang ehsan coffer be spent on a single sport event in Terengganu , and spending another RM400 million to build a bridge to link an unknown island also in Terengganu. (Please visit Colour-blind for other details). He has not explained why Patrick Lim and other buddies of Khairy Jamaluddin were allowed to have a field day out there.  

Are you unhappy with Najib for not saying much?
Dr M: Whether I am happy or not, whatever happens to him is something that will happen to him, not to me.
 
What do you mean? Dr M: Whatever he does of course will affect his future.
 
But he is somebody whom you had lobbied for.
Dr M: Yes I did, but beyond that I am not prepared to do anything more. 
My observation: See, Najib has been dropped by Mahathir, rather obvious. The sad thing about us Malaysians is that we do not have many political leaders in Umno who has the calibre or potential, I mean prime minister materials. Mention names like Najib, Hishamuddin, Khairy or Muhyiddin and you will hear a big, loud NO from the gallery.   

Najib recently announced RM40bil in investments by companies.
Dr M: Announce is OK. It’s like announcing the Ninth Malaysia Plan, it has been announced two years ago but up to now as far as I know none of the projects have taken off. I did also comment (to Pak lah) on this private financing initiative. Now what is private financing initiative? It sounds as if it is the private sector which is going to do everything and the Government does not have to spend one sen. It sounds like privatisation but it is not. It is the same as build, lease and transfer.  It means the private sector build this bridge at whatever cost and then lease it to the Government.  Of course, when you lease it to the Government it must give the company profit and sufficient money to pay off debts. And in the end of course the Government will pay. 

My observation: Najib has only said that RM11 billion will be a foreign investment and the remaining RM29 billion will actually local investments. These are certainly superscale mega projects, much bigger if you compare with all the mega projects initiated by Mahathir. But we have no idea except waiting for more news from Najib or Abdullah. We thought Abdullah were quite critical about mega projects at one time. But not anymore. And the point raised on the so-called PFI ( Private Financing Initiative) sounds like a scam to squeeze Malaysian taxpayers. It would be another form of privatization ( or piratisation?), more or less. We thank Mahathir for pointing it out clearly to all Malaysians. We better try our best to stop their monkey tricks if we Malaysian taxpayers do not want to end up paying for it. The BN Government has no money. Every single sen belongs to the Rakyat.

Your view on bumiputra equity ownership at 18% or 45%?
Dr M: I think the Government has to explain how it reached the figure of 18% and the other side has to explain how it reached the figure of 45%. I don’t think the figure of 45% is correct. As far as 18% is concerned, it may be nearer the actual figure than the 45% figure. So let’s clear this up. Don’t say: “Don’t question this thing.”  To every criticism directed at the Government, the answer is: “Don’t question this thing, don’t raise this issue, stop talking about this.” 

My observation: I disagree with Mahathir that 18.9% may be nearer the actual figure than the 45% figure. Because the data and methodology used by Asli were more scientific, practical and logical than those applied by the EPU ( if Abdullah was not quoted wrongly). But I agree with him that the Government should clear this up. On this point, former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Musa Hitam was a great disappointment  to us. He should not have commented that raising the bumiputera issues could cause racial unrest. He should learn from Mahathir on how to handle important and sensitive issues concerning the nation. He also made the same mistake when he was asked to comment on my piece on the history of independence ( Merdeka) in 2005, entitled “The real fighters of Merdeka”.  Abdullah has yet to give his side of views. Mahathir has outdone him on this round and he really cannot afford to lose out again when he finally decides to speak.  

Let us hope that he would offer some good and sensible answers and quickly follow up with some good remedies. Actions speak louder than words. If Abdullah can act steadfastly on issues such as IPCMC, NEP, APs, mega projects, marginalization and corporate equity, Cabinet deadwoods and little Napoleans, Singapore-Malaysia relationship, corruption, nepotism and cronyism, Mahathir would have no choice but to shut up. 

7 Responses to “Malaysians must not be bystanding when Dr Mahathir airs his complaints”

  1. sampalee Says:

    This dialogue format is fantastic.Ronnie can be considered a politician,that can think and not merely follow.He is selfless in sharing his insight.He is another RPK in the making

  2. TanjungPetir Says:

    Pak Lah resign?? Please, give me a break … … even YB Lim has not gone that far in calling for the PM’s resignation. Who’s to replace him? Even if Najib is the natural and obvious successor, it doesn’t mean his time is here. Is that the Malay and Malaysian way? I tell you this: who cares if Nazri calls Dr. M names … don’t give me cock & bull that it’s not the Malay way and what not … calling the PM to resign, now that’s not the Malay way! We don’t want an alternative government that replaces Islam Hadhari with another version … WE ARE HERE TO BLOCK AND RESTRAIN EXTREMISM IN ALL ITS FORMS. That’s has been the DAP’s struggle and will always be.

  3. ronnieliutiankhiew Says:

    From someone who cares for the well-being of all Malaysians…

    Dear Ronnie,

    Thanks for the info.

    Here are my comments on your observations.

    Ronnie’s observation: Mahathir is correct to say that the Chinese would vote for the Opposition. His assessment that the Opposition will not be able to topple the BN Government is also accurate. That’s because BN will certainly dish out some goodies to pacify the Rakyat apart from resorting to cheating and manipulations with the help of the Election Commission (SPR). Besides, the Opposition must really put their act together soonest possible to win the confidence and acceptance of the voters in general. To me, Mahathir should have also told Abdullah that if he does not buck up, many Indians, Malays, Kadazans, Ibans and other races in general would also vote for the Opposition. What has happened in Sarawak can also takes place in Peninsular Malaysia and Sabah.

    My Comments

    Yes, there is no other way for the opposition to move forward- they must get their act together.
    My question is How can they get their act together? Aren’t Malaysian politicians all the same? (see my notes on “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”) With a limiting R & D culture (Lack of Financial resources is just an excuse). I do not believe the current leadership in the opposition front can come up with a strategy and approach to seize the moment to win the support of the masses. The major current issues are many fold. Yet to the average Joe & Ann on the street, the main concern is “My Family and My Happiness”. So simple, so basic, yet can be very profound. Do the opposition really know how to ‘take advantage’ of the masses who are very unhappy, insecure and even fearful of their future? Do we have facts and figures to substantiate this general feeling ‘on the ground’. There is sufficient evidence, facts and figures to ‘educate’ the public for the predicament they are in – and it is all cause by the BN govt. Yes, the BN govt with the legacy of even Dr.M. Dr. M statements really reveals the lack of consensus that He claim which is how the “cabinet make decisions’. This is the most startling fact! The same ministers who were part of the decisions ‘by consensus’ during Dr M ‘reign’ are the same people who claim him as a dictator! Are not the ministers doing the same things even in Badawi’s cabinet. Because politicians know that to sustain their positions they must not ‘rock the boat’, they will continue to agree the cabinet decisions are by concensus…ha.ha.ha. When the next PM is in power these same cabinet minister will accuse Badawi of some other reasons and they support any current PM for the same reason mentioned above. This flaw of the BN ministers have not received enough attention..the opposition may have missed this! The people’s confidence (or fears) in the current leadership must be shaken to the core, if the opposition want to really bring the change they desire. There are many events, statements and positions taken by the BN leaders (including component group leaders) to indicate that they themselves are not happy with the current state of affairs. And this problem did not begin when Pak Lah became PM. It started the day Mahathirism was born.. the high point being the removal of the Supreme Court judges (Salleh Abbas statements must be gather to drive home this point), from that time onwards it has been downhill all the way where human rights, justice and marginalisation of various groups of people (including large groups of Malays). Pak Lah (God Bless his soul) has only given the opportunity for these and many ‘hidden issues’ during the Mahathir era, and Pak Lah himself is the most guilty of the cabinet ministers by being in consensus with the Mahathir cabinet when many of the current issues were brought up for ‘cabinet’ decisions then.Lah himself did not want to ‘rock the boat’- why else did you think he was chosen to be the PM? The people cannot be so naive to believe the statements by the current BN leadership. Especially some Big Mouths who want to appear ‘self rigtheous’ in defending their own ‘race’ or party. Come on politicians, you can fool some people all the time. all the peoplesome of the time, but you can’t fool all the people all the time. That time is now. With the windows of dissent open.. all lot of things are coming out..which is very good (remember Kit Siang’s Time-bomb theory!) Yet the opposition are only focused on their particular stance on various issues and are not mindful of how the masses are perceiving all these..and what it means to them.. your voters!

    Ronnie’s observations
    To me, Mahathir should have also told Abdullah that if he does not buck up, many Indians, Malays, Kadazans, Ibans and other races in general would also vote for the Opposition.

    My comments

    I will also direct this statement to the opposition leaders. To really gain a wider base of voters, we must move from just receiving votes because of just the frustrations of the voters of the current leadership, this is still valid. But to gain wider support the opposition must also be seen to bring benefits to the public, with alternative development models and examples of implementing the goals and principles of the nation which includes upholding the Malaysian Constitution and Social Contract, the Rukun Negara and the realisation of Vision 2020. These are the vary areas the BN have failed. When the masses and communities at grass-roots level ‘see’ the opposition contributing to the realisation of the above goals and principles.. the reality of an Alternative Govt in the near future will really boost support from the masses. Just telling and highlighting what others are doing wrong is insufficent for the political future of opposition parties, the ability to bring positive results and benefits to communities at grass-roots level is the key to a positive future for the masses and for the opposition parties.
    The challenge (not problem) is how do you bring the opposition parties together to realise this. THIS WILL THE NEXT AREA OF DISCUSSION!

  4. ronnie Says:

    Dear Tanjung Petir,
    Did I say many Malaysians hold such opinion as early as May 2006? The placard I was holding was the work of the protester walking alongside with me. He too,like you, could not give a name to substitute Abdullah. We are already in a big mess and it will be very, very sad if we cannot find a way out of this mess.
    Some of the Opposition leaders are now talking about slashing the two-third majority of Abdullah if Malaysians are not ready to topple his government. What do you think?

  5. TanjungPetir Says:

    Dear Ronnie,

    I think yes, i would always support the DAP’s goal of denying BN a two-thirds majority … I have always thought that the DAP has been, is now and always will be (thanks to you too, Sdr. Ronnie, a Malaysian First warrior) a positive and good influence on Malaysian politics.

    Personally, toppling Umno-BN is not really viable … i think it’s best to play out Pas-PKR and Umno-BN one against the other to ensure checks and balances. Really, I don’t trust PKR anymore do I trust Pas for the simple reason because of the islamic state issue which can never be justifiable/suitable/right for *Malaysia*. I would personally encourage our DAP to play a moderating role on both pas and pkr … i actually sorta landed a parachute in the Pas website with my comments under Roket-Petir warning pas leadership not to mix Christianity and the West as if that there is a crusade agenda going on … on the contrary, Moslems are getting the full freedom to practice the islam that they want in the West! We are not here to *convert* anyone … the Constitution is there to safeguard islam *and* Malaysia as a secular state – a reasonable and suitable arrangement which we call social contract. But we cannot allow extremism to flourish in Malaysia. I think Singapore has done very well in reining in islamic extremism … the kutbah by the chief mufti of Singapore recently illustrates this very well.

    I do NOT intend to sow mistrust between us and pas-pkr (they are guided as much by their conviction as we are) but just that their ideology (or rather pas’s) is wrong for malaysia. yes, they are men of principles and we should continue to work together for a common good. So, yes we are fighting on two fronts. And we will cooperate with anyone for a common good. Just that umno-bn refuses to cooperate but pas-pkr are.

    Keep up the good job, Ronnie and thank you for your post.

    Salutations to you and Selangor DAP!

  6. TanjungPetir Says:

    And yes, we should continue to foster and maintain our friendships with our fellow Malaysians from PKR and Pas.

  7. Best Home Improvement Guide Says:

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