Stay away Mahathir, you chief hypocrite

umar mukhtar

Umar Mukhtar

Stealing public funds in one’s custody for unauthorised purposes is wrong. And finding out the person or persons guilty of such acts is now ongoing and such person(s) must be dealt with appropriately. Nobody should dispute that.

We can dispute that the investigations are not proceeding the way it should be because the superior persons being investigated may interfere in its conduct. Please cite proven examples of this happening, and not merely question the integrity of the personalities involved in the investigations and their offices.

To demand that the Prime Minister take leave to facilitate an unbiased investigation of unproven allegations, when he is not even being charged for any wrongdoing, is a bit over the top. Even in the strict impeachment system practised in the United States of America, the impeachment process goes on without the President having to take leave.

Once if and when the public sense a cover-up by the investigators, we will act accordingly. The options include a parliamentary vote of no confidence on the PM, up to even passing judgement at the polls. You will allude to the suspicions that even those options can be manipulated by those in power to frustrate the true desires of the people. Do not under-rate the human spirit. Wisdom is not just your monopoly.

With that in mind, allow me to make my point in this and coming pieces.

My point is, please keep Mahathir from capitalising on this episode to cleanse himself from the unforgivable sins of destroying the nationhood we had inherited before he came to power. It is important that we do that. He is estopped, on grounds of unmitigated past deeds that went unexamined and unpunished, unlike the present controversy which he wants to preside over. He does not qualify.

Our exclusion of Mahathir will maintain our consistency as to what is right and what is wrong in building a nation, irrespective of when, how, why and who was involved when our nationhood was threatened and stunted. To co-opt him now in any corrective action would give the impression to those who come after us that Mahathir is a paragon of virtue and that his despicable rule was acceptable and thus can be repeated by an aspiring devil.

What did he do? Let me start in this piece with those that do not require judicial proof but mere observations of verifiable nature.

1.  The most drastic – stunting the enviable growth of the institution of our judiciary, from one that is most respected in the world to one that has hanging above its head the real threat of executive interference whenever the executive sees it fit. Perception are real, and wise men are wary not to be on the wrong of it.

Mahathir was the one who created that perception of the helpless vulnerability of Malaysian judicial independence when he facilitated the sacking of the Lord President and the appointments of a few half-baked weaklings after that. If it needed be, there were many ways to skin a cat but Mahathir chose the way that satisfied his boisterous ego without due regard to the long-term implications to a young nation.

Check the archives on the opinion of the Bar Council, decent-thinking people and even the opportunistic opposition politicians. Million of words have been and continued to be written on Mahathir’s treacherous behavior, and how a young nation suffered when robbed of its judicial credibility that it needs for its place among civilized nations that base internal and international relationship on trust and fair-play.

The fact that Lim Kit Siang who was very critical of Mahathi’s actions, but is now kissing Mahathir’s ass in this present controversy, is a measure of his commitment to power-play and short-term gratification at the expense of the truth and the consistency of character that a nation builder needs.

Now the conniving Mahathir blames it on the late Sultan of Johor, who cannot defend himself, that he was forced to do it by His Highness over a trivial issue. If true, a strong leader must and could have resisted. Mahathir helpless? Please! At best, it is a confession of a Michaelivian leader who conveniently pawned the future credibility of the country. Only idiots believe this excuse.

2.  Mahathir, the control freak, did the most to destroy the functionality of other government institutions. The British had left us a system of government administration that worked for us – tight and admittedly bureaucratic. Tun Abdul Razak loosened them up a bit by creating the various quasi-government agencies to free a bit of the bureaucratic constraints of decision-making and financial red-tape.

But Treasury Instructions, Parliamentary declaration of financial instruments carrying public liabilities, and open tenders of government contracts, are examples of controls Tun Razak and Hussein Onn retained. Mahathir removed them all.

Mahathir had seized on these necessary loosening-ups to facilitate his political collaborators and commercial cronies to allow for easier pilferages. One example of many is to compel Tabung Haji to contract to buy one high-rise office building in his crony’s development of Maju Junction to allow for a lucrative exit for his friend. Talk about Tabung Haji forced to buy 1MDB land! The rape of Tabung Haji started long before that.

Bank Negara Malaysia had the ignominious task of fending off rumors of its governor caught with a large amount of cash in a brief-case in his office. The head of the anti-corruption agency who took up the case to Mahathir soon left the agency, furious at Mahathir, but the Governor was left untouched. Two highly respected institutions destroyed at one stroke!

Too many to write about in a short article.

The point is, suddenly this devil incarnate is a vigilante to keep the government clean? You believe that, and you believe pigs fly. Mahathir has two kinds of supporters in the present controversy. One group call him ‘Ayahanda’, which reflect their neediness. The other refer to him as ‘Mamak’. Both are his ardent supporters with opposing interests.

One are the blinded racists who believe that only a Mamak like Mahathir can save the Malays from being trampled by the other racists. And two are ironically the other racists who are too eager to prove the belligerence of the Malays, and to oust an elected Malay-led government, and manipulate such that Chinese-controlled coalition will rule Malaysia. Using the help of Mahathir as the equaliser against the discretionary powers vested in the incumbents in this controversy, these jokers ambitiously plan on disposing Mahathir later, after no longer of any use to them. As if Mahathir hadn’t got plans of his own!

There should be a third group. Those who truly want any hanky-panky to be punished. But the enlightened ones are not there. These people are aware of the hanky-panties of the Mahathir era. They wouldn’t be caught dead working hand-in-glove with the devil personified.

I am one of them. So are many of you. We will handle this our way without hidden agendas – our actions will be based on doing the right thing the right way – because agendas not connected exclusively with the need for truth, have a way of making us lose the plot. We cannot afford that. Our youngsters are expecting us to preserve this nation at least in the state it was handed to us.

(Next – Mahathir, the defender of Malays?)