MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku


Thursday, August 3, 2017


NAJIB Razak and the powerful Umno machinery have spent the past few weeks hammering and thrashing the legacy of one man, and that man is unfazed – even revelling in the spotlight.He says he expects to be demonised by mainstream media, and brushes off Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s stinging remarks about his ancestry as being motivated by personal vendetta.But truly, does Dr Mahathir Mohamad really not care about what his former colleagues and party men say about him?
“I don’t care. There are people who hate me and they will continue to hate me. But I believe the majority of people do not,” Dr Mahathir tells The Malaysian Insight in an interview.
He is clearly in a fighting mood. But he says that all that matters now to him now is that he has the backing of the people.
“When I visit restaurants, like in the Pavilion (Kuala Lumpur), there are people who come up to me. Malay, Chinese or Indian, they greet me. And they thank me. I say, thank me for what? They say, ‘thank you for what you have done for the country’.
“These people, I did not tell them to say that. I did not pay them to say that. Najib (Prime Minister Najib Razak) pays people. Only then they come forward. I do not pay people. People come forward because they want to express their thanks. That gratifies me. What other people want to say, let them say.

He acknowledges that mainstream media attacks on him have increased, especially after he was made Pakatan Harapan chairman on July 14.
Among the charges levelled at him is that he did not do anything for the nation.
“They can say what they want. If people say I did not contribute, what can I say?” he said.
“The (media) is under Najib’s control. I was used to it during Pak Lah’s (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) time (as prime minister); Utusan used to hit out at me. But it was not as bad as it is today.
“After Pak Lah fell and Najib rose, they (Utusan Malaysia) felt freer and they came to apologise to me.
“They said ‘we didn’t want to do so, we were forced’. Now it appears they are forced again. And it’s worse this time.”
Following Dr Mahathir’s break from Umno, government-linked television broadcasters and Malay vernacular dailies have stepped up their attacks by rehashing alleged financial mismanagement during his 22 years as prime minister.
“But the reality is, people no longer read the New Straits Times, Utusan Malaysia. When TV3 begins cursing people, they switch to other channels.”  
Mahathir welcomes the attacks, saying it’s “part of politics” but says even his past critics have acknowledged his contributions.
The former prime minister also refutes claims that he used Umno as a tool for personal gain, asserting instead that it is the Malays who have used him to their advantage.
“If I have used Umno, what are the bad things that I have done? The truth is, it is the Malays who have used me.

Dr Mahathir is commenting on remarks made by the deputy prime minister Zahid’s accusations that he had used the Malay-based dominant Barisan Nasional (BN) party for his own ends.
Zahid also brought up Mahathir’s Indian ancestry, calling the former prime minister “Mahathir, son of Iskandar Kutty”
Zahid was arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in 1998 for having supported Anwar Ibrahim who had been sacked as deputy prime minister and finance minister.
Below are excerpts of the interview.
Q: Are you surprised by the recent attacks levelled against you by the deputy prime minister?
Dr M: I knew him, that he’s against me. He was one of the people who tried to bring me down. He (Zahid) thought he could get (Prime Minister ) Najib Razak to resign, after which he would become prime minister.
I told him, even if Najib resigns, it’s not neccessary that he becomes the prime minister, because Umno has the right to choose who replaces Najib.”
Q: Last week, Zahid questioned your Malay heritage, saying you are “Mahathir, son of Iskandar Kutty”. What do you think of that?
Dr M: This is an example of low quality leaders. When you are in power, they will come and support you. When you are no longer in power, they will support someone else and hentam (hit out at) you. (Umno) has chosen me (to be its leader), not the other way around. I was an ordinary member of Umno, not from the elite. If I were to have used Umno, what are the bad things that I have done? The truth is, it is the Malays who have used me.
Q: How are you handling all the attacks?
Dr M: For me, when I was prime minister, people called me Mahazalim (great tyrant), Mahafiraun (great pharoah). For me, it’s politics. You have to demonise your opponents. You cannot say your opponent is good. This is politics. For me, the attempts to smear my image, this is expected from your enemies.
If people choose to believe them, then they can believe, but the majority do not believe I have done anything wrong.
They can see with their own eyes what I have accomplished. They can say I contributed nothing. But there is evidence (that I have). From the earliest time (I was prime minister), Time Magazine published, “The Great Builder”. So it seems that I have built something. That’s why they published that.
Time Magazine is not my friend. But they wrote that anyway. And there were many other reports. (Time Magazine, in its December 1996 issue, called Dr Mahathir a “master planner” for his role in developing Malaysia).
I don’t think the majority of the people accept (the smears). In fact, some are angry. Angry when Najib says I have done nothing. He (Najib) is sitting in a home I have built. He is working in an office that I have built.
– https://www.themalaysianinsight.com

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