Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Tun Mahathir on Hardtalk

It might have been the interview of the year for Mahathir as he was invited to BBC headquaters in London for an important interview. I was being told that an interview has been taken place last week and I was so eager to see it on tv. However, I missed the programme but someone kindly let me know of the place to replay the whole interview. The whole interview lasted about 25 minutes and I have one word to say about the whole interview - splendid.

As usual, Tun Mahathir said that he has been invited for the interview and he is ready to be challenged in every single way. In short, he is expected something nasty that the whole has persieved him to be - a dictator. He is there to tell the world what he meant to be on the ball, to be the longest serving prime minister of Malaysia (1981 - 2003).

What is the secret of staying as the longest prime minister of Malaysia? Is he akin to the former prime minister of Singapore who has broken off from the formation of Malaysia and being an independant state which is well known to every single person in the world?

Look at Lee Kuan Yew. He is still in active in the prime minister's office. He is now the mentor in the prime minister's office. Well, he has achiever something which many people would dreamed to be. He is still fresh in his mind. Well, can Tun Mahathir do the same?

Before I proceed with writing this article, I just want you all to know that I am a neutral person and I do not wish to offend anyone in particular the father of modernisation - Tun Mahathir. I just want to voice out something which I have been keeping for myself for some time now.

First of all, the interview was a good example to show that Tun Mahathir is still capable of managing the country. I have no objections to that but the question is whether he is still capable of running the country? I don't know. It is really hard to say. There were many good things and bad things being said about him during his stay in power.

The Interview

As I have stated earlier, the interview lasted for about 25 minutes. It is not a long interview but the interviewer showed a lot of respect to Tun Mahathir and he also criticised Tun Mahathir big time. Having being interviewed by the legendary Stephen Sackur as we know that he is really being critical about what he needs to say or asked. You have to understand that Tun Mahathir is one icon of Malaysia. He has helped to shape the country. Look at his predecessors. All of them have done something good to the country. Tun Mahathir did something which others could not do - Going over the edge. He has helped Malaysia so much!

Look at Malaysia during his stay in power. We have being recognised in the western world. In fact, we are not only being well recognised by the western world, we are well famous! Look at his achievements under his belt - Let me see... Where shall I begin? First of all, we have the third longest bridge in South East Asis - The Penang bridge. That was something big for him. It is a beginning of a dynasty which I can put it this way.

After Penang bridge was build, the world began to open up to Malaysia. They started to undersand where lies Malaysia and what speciality does Malaysia had for other people. Foreigners started to join in to witness the opening of the Penang bridge. The view was spectacular. I can say this.

After the project of Penang bridge, we have our very first national car project. Yes, I am talking nothing but Proton. It was a project which involved our Japanese counterpart which was really close to Tun Mahathir. In fact, Tun Mahathir have mantioned on many occasions that we have to look east. Why? Well, dedication and hard work. That was the message from himm to many people especially for the Malay in the country. I am not saying that the Malays in the country is lazy but he stressed out the point that Malays would need to work harder so as not to rely on the government to help them. Oh well, I would have to say something over here. If the government is not willing to help them, who will? Can they help themselves at that time?

The Proton project was a success. We have our own national car although the very first model which rolled out in Shah Alam was not pretty. Nevertheless, it is good enough for a developing nation like Malaysia at that time (1985). Oh well, just for your information, Proton gets tax subsidies from the government so as to help them to boost sales. At first, many people were sceptical about buying Malaysian cars. Oh well, you need to know that although it is called the very first Malaysian car (Proton Saga), the engine was from Mitsubishi and fitted with 4 cylinder and it was only 8v.

In the end, many people were drawn to buying Proton cars because it was affordable, not necessary reliable. Anyway, I think the complains against Proton was not justiciable at that time because they were new in the industry. I am really proud of Malaysia being able to manufacture our own cars. I am proud to be a Malaysian. Despite many complains that I have received or expressed, I still feel that I am still a true Malaysian. Nothing can ever take that away from me.

Besides the Proton project, Tun Mahathir started his vision of building the KL tower which still stans until today. It was a beautiful tower looking across Bukit Nanas Girl School. It was surrounded by a small forest. I love the view and the scenery was magnificient! What can I say about it? Tun Mahathir is good! One of his best projects were the building of KL Twin Tower which includes a state of the art shopping complex - Suria KLCC. I have to say that the building took a good few years to complete but it was worth it. Tun Mahathir was the businessman of Malaysia. He is trying all his ways to promote Malaysia. We have visit Malaysia year and many torist come to Malaysia for visits. We have so many cultures and filled foreigners with joy! Nobody will be left out when they are in Malaysia.

In regard to KL Twin Tower, it is now called the Petronas Twin Tower. It was once the tallest building including the antenna and the view surrounding the place was magnificient! What can you get from KLCC? You have a large area surrounding KLCC which is properly maintained. Tourist know about Petronas Twin Tower. They feel that the focus has shifted from Singapore to Malaysia. Tun Mahathir is trying to promote Malaysia and he has done it! Brovo!

Next would be the inclusion of Malaysia as one of the F1 championship in Sepang. What a wonderful thing that he has done for Malaysia! What can you expect from a man with his word? Tun Mahathir has managed to put Malaysia in the fontline of the world. People think that Malaysia is a small country but it is bigger than Singapore. However, why people knows Singapore which the area is smaller than Malaysia, but more famous than Malaysia? Well, he is the man to change it. Now, people whom I know knows about Malaysia. At least, they know where it is and the one big attraction of all - the KLCC. I am loving it!

Oh well, other good things that he has done for Malaysia was actually the LRT projects. It resembles Singapore but it was a success! Now, KLCC station is just like Canary Wharf in London. It is technologially enhanced. Besides that, the last thing before he retired was the second linking Johore to Singapore. He has done well which I can say. I do admire a lot about him.

However, being a famour man does have its negativity. Obviously, once you are at the top, you do get criticisms. People will have lots of interest of whatever you do. It is just like the News of the World. Oh dear, what can you expect as you are one famous man!!!

However, there are many dark secrets about him. One issue will be the fact that people do criticise him for sending his former deputy prime minister Datuk Anwar Ibrahim to jail for sodomy charge. During the interview, he mentioned that Anwar Ibrahim was tried in the high Court and was put to jail according to the rule of law and there was nothing to suggest that Anwar was purposely put to jail. Tun Mahathir denied that he has any involvement in putting Anwar Ibrahim to jail. The best of all is that Anwar Ibrahim was aquitted in the courts when Abdullah Badawi took over the office. Tun Mahathir said that it goes on to show that Badawi wants sympathy and it goes to show that he is not capable of running the country.

Besides this, the interviewer mentioned about ISA which Tun Mahathir strongly denied he has anything to do with it. He said that ISA was in existence even before he took power. Oh well, that is something very convenient of him to say that although it was suggested that there were many people who were put behind bars especially political enemy of him. The ISA as mentioned, is capable of locking up a person for two years without trial. Is this justice? I don't know.

There were reports stating that he is corrupted but the country flourished under his ruling. Investors are flocking in to help the local economy. Well, what about it now then? Can you see foreigners coming in to invest in Malaysia as good as before? Tun Mahathir was also criticised for treating non Malays differrently from the Malays and the priority was given to Malays. Oh well, I am not going to touch on this topic as it is really sensitive.

Anyway, in a nutshell, the economy was much better under his care but there is more to be done.


Joshua said...

Very Good write up Tailo but i must stress here that Anwar was never imprisoned for sodomy. He was imprisoned for corruption which was eveident by the courts.

When he completed his years of imprisonment for corruption, the courts tried him for sodomy and sexual misconduct but they found no substantial evidence. Hence he was freed.

I must also state here that from the very begining, even while Anwar was still DPM, he was being investigated by the Police & it was the Police and a business lady by the name of Umi Hafilda that went up to Dr.M's office & gave him all the evidence of Anwar's Corruption and sexual misconduct. The Police then informed Dr.M that Anwar must be arrested. Hence Dr.M sacked Anwar and the Police arrested him for Corruption & Sexual Misconduct.

He served his years in prison for Corruption and NOT Sexual Misconduct.

ぜるもう said...

I think Anwar might win this time since he is capable of rejoining the political scene. It is true and I think it is just best for him to do. You can't shut one up for too long.

joshua said...

Do you remember the what he was like when he was DPM? Do you want me to highlight things that he did which i can clearly remember? I suffered one major thing when he was DPM & Education Minister, i will never forget.

ぜるもう said...

I am not saying that Anwar should be the PM and I am not saying that anyone is suitable for the job. What I have said is only the opinion and you would have to understand that. I am sure that it will lead to many criticism. Keep it on.

joshua said...

I am not criticising your comments. I have many reasons as to why i think that Anwar is unfit to lead. If you have read my email i sent you yesterday, then you would know my reasons.

You are entitled to your opinion and you can carry on with your opinions. Generally i can clearly see that you don't favour Dr.M and as far as i can remember, you always had certain disatisfactions about him. As i said, it's your stand.

ぜるもう said...

I can see what Tun Mahathir has done for the country. Well, he landed himself with some hiccups too. That was the problem. Anyway, I am not taking sides. Tun Mahathir is the past and Anwar is emerging from his house and getting into politics now. tun Mahathir can say whatever he wants but the question is whether people wil listen to him. I am not forgetting the improvements which he has done for the country. Without him, I don't think Malaysia will be well known. What I am trying to say is that if he has made a mistake, admit it. It is the same as PM Gordan Brown yesterday on the income tax U-turn. He did not admit that there was a U-turn and he was not under pressure from his party to change the income tax rule.