Hey Mahathir, where is the love?

By Praba Ganesan (The Malaysian Insider)

JULY 23 — Some of us are doing quite well. Some of us are doing ok. Some of us struggle to keep the bills from mounting. Some of us don’t know how to keep going.

That is Malaysia, today. Actually that could be the US, Chile or Sudan. Yes, Sudan. All countries — all economic systems despite and due to encroaching globalisation — have differentiated living scales. You have poverty everywhere. And you have them people sitting on the terraces of KLCC looking on at humanity while sipping their iced coffee.

Poverty and wealth are not race attributes, they are economical realities.

Which leads me to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the things he says. He is a pretty smart guy, and probably knows more than he lets other people on.

Every few weeks or so, he’d whinge about how not enough is being done for constitutional Malays in the country. That the softening of old policies will lead to the disenfranchisement of many who have lived on those policies. And when his message is too subtle, with response discouraging, he’ll up the tempo.

What does he want?

I mean it is pretty cute when he points out to general race income statistics and for 40 years resolutely stands by them, as an unrepentant racist. He admits as much. The good thing about Mahathir is that he has never disavowed his unmitigated racism. He’d say he is a racialist, just as he puts it in The Malaysian System of Government (1995), better to express openly your race concerns so that you can formulate a just system. No latent racialism, just blunt open racialism, how so wonderful an honesty.

The Mahathirist is a selective rationalist. He begins with a desired outcome, looks for reasons to support that outcome, ignores downsides and pursues the processes till the outcome is realised. When it fails, blames all the downsides and opponents for being impossible.

Balance, contrast and principles are overrated elements to the Mahathirist which historical distortions in the future would conveniently overwhelm.

A bit like, I am not a racist as such, if I have been forthcoming with my race inclinations. So when I discriminate, I am not really discriminating because that is expected of me. I am just being type.

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