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Friday, December 2, 2016

Mahathir's Motivation

The image of Mahathir in a BERSIH 5 shirt while doing a video advertistment to promote the event was a real eye-opener for many people - some people applauded him while many others were turned off.


We may never know if his presence was the reason why BERSIH 5 attendance was down by as much as 80% as estimated by BERSIH themselves or down 60% as estimated by MalaysiaKini but that is not the focus of today's article.

Much has been said about Mahathir's recent U-turns, many of which have puzzled friends and foes alike. He has made so many that we can only speculate what else more in future where he would make similar U-Turns in support of DAP's stand.

There are already a lot of these U-turns - some of which are shocking, including his call in the foreign media for foreign intervention in Malaysia.


So, what had motivated the former Prime Minister to make such shocking U-turns which is so out-of-character based on his past track records that to many, it has made him look like the ultimate shamless hypocrite?

Unless Mahathir spills the beans himself, we can only speculate.

But it is easier to say what is not the reason than to say with certainty what is the real reason. Let's list them all down.

It is not because of 1MDB or RM2.6 billion or any alleged corruption.

Why do I say this? Well, Mahathir had actually publicly announced in August 2014 that he had pulled back support from Najib. Remember this date, August 2014. This event had sent shock-waves in the local media at that time.

This is way before there were any allegations on 1MDB or any hint of RM2.6 billion in PM's account.

In fact, the reasons given by Mahathir at that time were only these four:

1. Najib abolished ISA.
2. Najib was too friendly to Singapore.
3. Najib did not take care of the "kaum and parti" who had helped save the govt in GE13. (Mahathir had previously blamed Najib of being too nice to the Chinese in GE13).
4. Najib allows more imports at the expense of local products (a chief complaint of his Proton then).

There was nothing about 1MDB or SOSMA or RM2.6b or anything like that when Mahathir withdrew support.

It is not because Mahathir thinks that Najib is kejam or cruel or had implemented NSC or SOSMA

In fact, the first point that Mahathir had given to withdraw support is that Najib abolished ISA

Which is why many observers laughed and saw it farcical and hypocritical when Mahathir brought his wife to turn up at the "Free Maria Chin, abolish SOSMA" event.



SOSMA is way less lethal than ISA while Mahathir himself had imprisoned Maria Chin's late husband Yunus Ali under ISA during Ops Lalang.

So, Mahathir being there to free Maria and to abolish SOSMA was indeed funny - especially since Najib abolishing ISA was one of the main reason given by Mahathir when he stopped supporting Najib in Aug 2014.

It is not because Malaysia is going bankrupt or that the Ringgit has fallen

If it is about the Ringgit, Mahathir would know that all Najib needs to do is to peg it just like he had in 1998 and then, no more questions.

And it is not about Malaysia going bankrupt as our Debt-to-GDP at 53% right now is much lower than what Mahathir pushed it up to from 44% in 1981 to 103.4% in 1986.

Plus, Mahathir knows there is no immediate need for a Danamodal or Danaharta to be set-up right now to save the banks and our conglomerates like what he did in 1998.

In fact, all the banks are really strong right now. If the economy is no good or near collapse, the banks would be the first to get into trouble.

On the contrary, in the 3 months ending 30 Sep 2016, most of the banks have reported decent growth in profits:
RM1.86b = MBB
RM1.25b = PBB
RM1.05b = CIMB
RM0.54b = HLBB
RM0.51b = RHB
RM0.38b = AMMB
RM0.17b = AFG
RM0.14b = AFFIN
RM0.11b = BIMB

So the question about saving Malaysia is out.

So, what would be the chief motivation for Mahathir to suddenly become so desperate?


To me, I can clearly see two possible key motivation.

1. Self-preservation

The two most basic human instincts are Self-preservation and pro-creation.

At his age of 91 years old, pro-creation is certainly not his motivation. Especially since he has lots of children and grand-children already.

That leaves self-preservation - more specifically, the preservation of his bloodlines and his legacy.

For 17 out of 22 years when Mahathir was Prime Minister, Suharto was his Indonesia counterpart. Both are reported to be very close friends.

It was even reported that Mahathir's son Mirzan and Suharto's son Bambang Trihatmodjo were once directors in Vincent Tan's Berjaya group.

Mirzan's wife is also the daughter of known Suharto's business partner Liem Sioe Liong, owner of Indonesia's Salim Group.

After being forced to resign in 1998, Suharto and his family spent much of their time fending-off corruption investigations. However, Suharto himself was protected from serious prosecution by politicians and people in the government who owed their positions to the former president, as indicated in the leaked telephone conversation between President Habibie and attorney-general Andi Muhammad Ghalib in Feb 1999.

In May 1999, Time Asia estimated Suharto's family fortune at US$15 billion in cash, shares, corporate assets, real estate, jewelry and fine art.

On 29 May 2000, Suharto was placed under house arrest when Indonesian authorities began to investigate the corruption during his presidency. In July 2000, it was announced that he was being investigated for embezzling US$571 million of government donations to one of a number of foundations under his control and then using the money to finance family investments.

In 2002, Suharto's son Tommy, was sentenced to 15 years' jail. He had been convicted of ordering the killing of a judge who had sentenced him to 18 months jail for corruption and illegal weapons possession.

In 2003, Suharto's half-brother Probosutedjo was sentenced to four years in jail for corruption and the loss of US$10 million from the state.

On 9 July 2007, Indonesian prosecutors filed a civil lawsuit against former President Suharto, to recover USD$440 in state funds and a further $1.1 billion in damages.

Suharto's legacy was destroyed. He and his family members got into lots of trouble and some were jailed.

During the final hours of Suharto's life in 2008, Mahathir flew to be at his bedside.

According to Suharto's daughter, Mahathir and Suharto, during the rare period when the former Indonesian president was conscious on his deathbed, shed tears together.

Many Indonesians respected Suharto for economically developing the country, while others who suffered under his strong-armed rule and accused him of plunder and rights abuses were disappointed he was never brought to trial.

It should as such come as no surprise that Mahathir had developed a certain bond with Suharto. The manner in which Suharto was criticized by many Indonesians must have saddened, if not frightened Mahathir.

Since all of Mahathir's sons are very rich. Here is an example.

Mahathir is a big critic of BR1M whom he calls dedak. 
However, BR1M is a policy that is also practiced in many countries to distribute income from the richer Malaysians to the below 40% (B40) income groups. 
Here is an illustration which will give you an idea of the scale of inequality. 
Mahathir had fought for bangsa dan agama for 22 years and finally, 3 Malay-Muslims entered the top ten richest Malaysians list in early 2014. 
It was sheer coincidence (kebetulan) that his son is among these three tycoons.
Mahathir's son Mokhzani Mahathir was listed at number 9 richest Malaysian and the 2nd richest Malay in Feb 2014 by the then A Kadir Jasin owned and operated Malaysia Business magazine. 
Mokhzani had a fortune of RM4.22 billion then - beating out Ambank founder Azman Hashim into 10th place. 
The previous year, the govt paid RM3 billion in BR1M 2.0 to 4.3 million households and 2.7 million single unmarried individuals. 
This means that Mokhzani could have paid fully for the BR1M payments for that year to all 4.3 million households and 2.7 million single unmarried individuals and still have RM1.22 billion remaining to spend on his fancy cars.
Seeing what tragedy had befallen his good friend's family after Suharto had lost control of the govt, I suspect Mahathir's main worry would be to prevent what happened to Suharto's legacy and family to also happen to him and his family.

This risk could certainly be reduced and It would help if one of Mahathir's son becomes the Prime Minister or at least in a senior position of power - in this case, it would be Mukhriz - the only son out of the three biological sons who had gone into politics.

Mukhriz Mahathir had led a charmed life as a politician ever.

The first and only time he won a parliament seat in 2008, he was immediately given a Deputy MITI Minister post.

The first time and only time he won a state assembly seat in 2013, he was immediately made the Menteri Besar of Kedah.

This is despite contesting and failing to win UMNO youth chief in 2009 and then failing again to win Vice-President in the 2013 party elections,

The favours and opportunities given to Mukhriz despite his lack of standing and experience in the party is clear evidence that Mahathir had wanted and gotten this from Najib at that time.

However, it was only immediately after Mukhirz being rejected by UMNO for the second time that Mahathir first publicly attacked Najib.


This was what was reported in October 2013 - way before any 1MDB, RM2.6 billion, economy, SOSMA, NSC issues came out:

Former Malaysian Premier Mahathir Mohamad on Monday appeared to fire the first volley of a widely anticipated attack on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, saying the premier’s allies in recent United Malays National Organization intraparty polls preserved their positions in the UMNO hierarchy by buying votes. 
“We are told that they’ve eliminated corruption during the recent UMNO election, I am not convinced,” Mahathir told a conference at the country’s administrative capital of Putra Jaya. Although he didn’t mention Najib by name, he said: “I think there was a lot of money involved, going into the millions, and loads of people who should not be getting votes were getting votes because of the money they spent.”
Since UMNO had already rejected Mukhriz twice before and Najib has now fallen out badly with both Mahathir and Mukhriz, it is better for both of them to leave UMNO as Mukhriz's chance of winning in the next UMNO party elections - probably in the next two years would be very slim.

Therefore, Mahathir probably believe it is better to leave UMNO and go all out to destroy the party.

And now that both Mahathir and Mukhriz is out of UMNO, most observers would note that despite failing to win twice in UMNO's party elections, Mukhris is now the Deputy President of his own political party - behind the much older Muhyiddin.

Mahathir would also be mindful about his own legacy and since he has essentially burned all bridges with Najib, Mahathir could be afraid that Najib will do what Mahathir did to Tunku Abdul Rahman (TAR).

After becoming Prime Minister, Mahathir had fallen out spectacularly with TAR - as you can see in this old video where TAR said that Mahathir is a lying traitor.


Since this falling out, TAR's legacy has been progressively erased from the history books. In fact, one of Mahathir's last action was to demolish the old Subang Airport which was perfectly functional.

After it was demolished, nothing was done on that site.



Therefore, faced with limited time to avoid what happened to Suharto and family to also happen to Mahathir, in the interest of self-preservation of his bloodlines and his legacy added to the irreparable animosity that he now has with Najib, it is paramount that Mahathir does whatever it takes to remove Najib and put in someone he can trust as Prime Minister or at least within the corridors of power.

This is where Boboi comes in.

In fact, Mahathir has never denied that he wants Mukhriz to be the future prime minister. On the contrary, in a recent interview with MalaysiaKini, he had subconsciously hinted that Mukhriz is his choice for future Prime Minister.

2. Mahathir's super-ego

In the 2016 UMNO general assembly, Najib had said that Mahathir has a super-ego.

"If Mahathir fights, he must win, tries to win. Now he is not successful, he will be more aggressive with his words,"  said Najib.
This is true as in the past, Mahathir had beaten Tunku Abdul Razak, Hussein Onn, Pak Lah, Anwar, Musa Hitam, Tengku Razaleigh before.

Now that Mahathir is losing the fight against Najib, Mahathir will just become even more aggressive and desperate.

Mahathir's pristine track-record in beating others and the fact that Mahathir considers Najib to be his student would mean losing to Najib would be the ultimate humiliation. His ego won't be able to take it.

What is worse than a teacher losing to a student? Especially since Mahathir keeps saying that "they still owe it all to him".  He said it again last year to the foreign press.



Like I said, no one is quite sure what goes on in Mahathir's mind but based on the evidence, these two motivation I listed seems the most likely why Mahathir has become desperate and willing to be a hypocrite.

One thing is for sure. Those Pakatan supporters who think Mahathir is a changed man or has repented are really very gullible and naive people. A leopard cannot change its spots. And you are talking about a 91 year old man who until now, has never apologized or shown remorse for anything that he has done before.

As the fight between him and Najib continues, let's listen to the supremely-talented Alan Perera who dedicated a song to Chedet and his fight with Najib.



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