Monday, March 31, 2008

Lets hope history does not repeat itself (Mahathir and his son



Newly elected Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir has
written a letter dated March 12 to Datuk Seri Abdullah
Ahmad Badawi asking him to step down as Umno president
and prime minister.

Mukhriz appears to have taken a leaf from what his
father did after Umno and the then Alliance did badly
in the general election of 1969. Tun Dr Mahathir
Mohamad wrote a letter demanding that Tunku Abdul
Rahman resign as Umno president and prime minister.
And like the letter from Mukhriz, which is now widely
circulated on the Internet, Mahathir's was also widely
distributed.

The Umno Supreme Council sacked Mahathir from the
party but the damage was done and a weakened Tunku
retired not too long after that, paving the way for
Tun Abdul Razak to take over. The rest, as they say,
is history and Mahathir later returned to Umno and
became party president and prime minister for 22
years.

Let's hope that history does not repeat itself and
Mahathir and son Mukhriz do not succeed in their move
to oust Abdullah.

To blame the anger of the people, as shown in the
March 8 elections, on Abdullah is not right and fair.
All the grouses that people have, especially the
arrogance, bullying nature and antics of certain Umno
leaders, from national level to division and branch,
are legacies of 22 years of Mahathirism.

It was under Mahathir that the role and power of
parties like the MCA, MIC and Gerakan within the
Barisan Nasional were curtailed. Power was centred on
Umno and, in particular, Mahathir.

Pre-Mahathir, leaders of BN component parties were
treated with greater respect by Umno and their views
taken more seriously. Today, these leaders dare not
even stand up to the likes of Umno Youth chief Datuk
Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, even though they knew very
well that his keris antics had angered the non-Malay
community.

That corruption is rife today, the disintegration of
the integrity of the judiciary and the neglect of the
rural and urban poor as the government focused on
ambitious projects that soaked up billions are all the
consequences of 22 years of Mahathirism.

Abdullah has been PM for only five years and it is
unreasonable for anyone to expect him to fix
deep-rooted problems that have been ingrained over 22
years. His mistake, of course, was that he
over-promised the people in the 2004 election. And he
did face resistance from powerful blocs. For example,
the police top brass was against the setting up of a
commission to investigate abuses in the force.

But he has done a few good things, like setting up the
Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Lingam tape
scandal, which confirmed what many have known for
years - that, un-

Let's hope history does not repeat itself

Newly elected Jerlun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir has
written a letter dated March 12 to Datuk Seri Abdullah
Ahmad Badawi asking him to step down as Umno president
and prime minister.

Mukhriz appears to have taken a leaf from what his
father did after Umno and the then Alliance did badly
in the general election of 1969. Tun Dr Mahathir
Mohamad wrote a letter demanding that Tunku Abdul
Rahman resign as Umno president and prime minister.
And like the letter from Mukhriz, which is now widely
circulated on the Internet, Mahathir's was also widely
distributed.

The Umno Supreme Council sacked Mahathir from the
party but the damage was done and a weakened Tunku
retired not too long after that, paving the way for
Tun Abdul Razak to take over. The rest, as they say,
is history and Mahathir later returned to Umno and
became party president and prime minister for 22
years.

Let's hope that history does not repeat itself and
Mahathir and son Mukhriz do not succeed in their move
to oust Abdullah.

To blame the anger of the people, as shown in the
March 8 elections, on Abdullah is not right and fair.
All the grouses that people have, especially the
arrogance, bullying nature and antics of certain Umno
leaders, from national level to division and branch,
are legacies of 22 years of Mahathirism.

It was under Mahathir that the role and power of
parties like the MCA, MIC and Gerakan within the
Barisan Nasional were curtailed. Power was centred on
Umno and, in particular, Mahathir.

Pre-Mahathir, leaders of BN component parties were
treated with greater respect by Umno and their views
taken more seriously. Today, these leaders dare not
even stand up to the likes of Umno Youth chief Datuk
Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, even though they knew very
well that his keris antics had angered the non-Malay
community.

That corruption is rife today, the disintegration of
the integrity of the judiciary and the neglect of the
rural and urban poor as the government focused on
ambitious projects that soaked up billions are all the
consequences of 22 years of Mahathirism.

Abdullah has been PM for only five years and it is
unreasonable for anyone to expect him to fix
deep-rooted problems that have been ingrained over 22
years. His mistake, of course, was that he
over-promised the people in the 2004 election. And he
did face resistance from powerful blocs. For example,
the police top brass was against the setting up of a
commission to investigate abuses in the force.

But he has done a few good things, like setting up the
Royal Commission of Inquiry on the Lingam tape
scandal, which confirmed what many have known for
years - that, under Mahathir, his cronies tried to
exert influence on judicial outcomes.

If Mahathir were still in power, the Attorney-General
would have declared that there was no case to
investigate and the video would have been destroyed -
like what happened to the sex video involving former
Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker D P Vijandran in 1992.

Under Mahathir, the views of civil society groups were
brushed aside and they were often labelled as
trouble-makers.

In the last five years, Abdullah has promoted more
openness as he attempted to shift the administration
of the country away from the dictatorship of
Mahathirism.

Malaysians need to support Abdullah in these trying
times. If he falls, the Mahathirites in Urn no would
have won and the country could be headed down the
slippery slope of more corruption, abuse of power and
an even dirtier judiciary again.

*****.*****

Daripada Abu Umarah iaitu al-Bara' bin 'Azib radhiallahu anhuma, katanya: "Kita semua diperintah oleh Rasulullah s.a.w. untuk melakukan tujuh perkara, iaitu meninjau orang sakit, mengikuti janazah, menentasymitkan orang yang bersin, menolong orang yang lemah, membantu orang yang teraniaya, meratakan salam dan melaksanakan sumpah."

(Muttafaq 'alaih)

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