Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mahathirism In My Eyes & The "Pariah" Writer

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad
PM : 16 July 1981 – 31 October 2003

There has been a lot of talk lately about Mahathirism. Many have painted the picture of Mahathirism to be something like a Draconian philosophy and a climate of fear.

Being a 23 year old, I am in no position to justify what is right or wrong in Dr Mahathir's years against the thoughts of those who are elder than me.

However, I can assure you I make my evaluations based on academic readings of the Mahathir Administration.

I do not have the academic books of Dr Mahathir's years in my hands at this moment (they are all at home), but I will make full use of the Internet resources and my memory.

What I am about to present to you is the Mahathirism which people closed an eye and ignored.

Annual GDP Growth under Mahathirism (IMF Statistics)

1982 5.941
1983 6.25
1984 7.762
1985 -0.876
1986 1.153
1987 5.389
1988 9.938
1989 9.06
1990 9.007
1991 9.547
1992 8.886
1993 9.896
1994 9.211
1995 9.83
1996 10.002
1997 7.323
1998 -7.359
1999 6.138
2000 8.68
2001 0.518
2002 5.391
2003 5.789

GPD Per Capita (PPP) under Mahathirism (IMF Statistics)

1982 2944.51
1983 3173.283
1984 3461.524
1985 3425.112
1986 3446.453
1987 3636.569
1988 4034.314
1989 4458.321
1990 4837.743
1991 5417.601
1992 5894.909
1993 6356.321
1994 6896.226
1995 7513.25
1996 8230.58
1997 8774.483
1998 8028.411
1999 8441.835
2000 9062.079
2001 9126.328
2002 9581.3
2003 10158.55

DR MAHATHIR's Contributions

There is always a wrong perception that everything is done by Dr Mahathir.

I have to stress here that everything done at national level might be the brainchild of the Prime Ministers but these projects have been evaluated by various panels, agencies and Ministries before being implemented.

In reviewing Dr Mahathir's years, people have forgotten what Mahathirism brought to us.

1. Foreign Movement Participation
  • Organization of Islamic Nations
  • G77
  • G22
  • Non Aligned Movement
  • APEC

2. Malaysia The Way Forward

In 1991, in the midst of tabling the RMK 6, Tun Dr Mahathir presented the working paper of Vision 2020 officially in Parliament.

"Malaysia can be a united nation, with a confident Malaysian society, infused by strong moral and ethical values, living in a society that is democratic, liberal and tolerant, caring, economically just and equitable, progressive and prosperous, and in full possession of an economy that is competitive, dynamic, robust and resilient."

Read more HERE.

3. "Pet Projects"

  • Proton (1981)
  • PLUS (1988 - 1994)
  • KLIA (1990)
  • Petronas Twin Towers (1992)
  • Putrajaya (1995-2001)
  • KL Tower (1995)
  • MEASAT (M1 - 1996 , M3 - 2006)
  • Astro (1996 - now)
  • Multimedia Super Corridor (1996)
  • Sepang International Circuit (1998)
  • XVI Commonwealth Games 98 Kuala Lumpur (1998)
  • STAR LRT Malaysia (1998)
  • Putra LRT Malaysia (1999)
  • Malaysian F1 Grand Prix (1999-now)
  • Port Tanjung Pelepas (1999)
  • KL Monorail Malaysia (2003)

4. Education (significant)

  • KBSM
  • Foreign universities campuses in Malaysia

5. Policies (significant)
  • Buy British Last
  • Look East Policy
  • Rancangan Malaysia Kelima - Kelapan
  • National Development Policy 1991

6. Economy & Finance (significant)
  • Pegging of USD-RM exchange rate
  • Merger of commercial banks into 10 anchor banks
  • Privatisation of inefficient state-owned companies
  • Strict Capital control in 1997
  • Employees Provident Fund 1991
  • The Dawn Raid - Guthrie Berhad at the London Stock Exchange

* EPF lifted Malaysians' savings level of those in the labor force. It also helped the Malaysian Government to reduce their dependency on foreign/external debt.

* The Dawn Raid was engineered by Tun Dr M and returned 200,000 acres of agricultural land to Malaysians. This "raid" caused panic in the London Stock Exchange and forced the "liberal" British Govt to implement stricter stock exchange rules.


So what is really Mahathirism? Mahathirism in the eyes of a 23 year old brought a lot of changes to a "kampung" styled Malaysia.

The rapid development policies in industrial, telecommunications, manufacturing, engineering, and ICT have all the while been a boon rather than bane to us.

Malaysians today are all over the world. Be it individual experts or multinational Malaysian companies plying their trade across the globe, we carry our flag high and mighty.

Do not forget the contributions of our Malaysian leaders, no matter how much you value your own personal efforts or hardship.

Without the environment and specific policies, Malaysia today could have become a impoverished nation with civil wars and be seen as just another speck of dust in the eyes of the world.

It is highly unique to see why African nations deep in trouble politically and economically are not written and criticially evaluated by the Foreign press.

But we see many of our news in the foreign media - be it good or bad.

It irks me to read Hamish McDonald's article which heavily criticised Malaysia as a pariah nation and giving the clearest hint that he hates Najib & Mahathirism.

I wonder why Malaysia and Mahathir and not Indonesia or Thailand. What more to say about the Lee Dynasty in Singapore who limits the freedom of speech and political rights?

Malaysians today are global and on the map simply because of the man who led Malaysia for 22 years, Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

This is clear when students, academicians, leaders and business leaders globally in UK, Australia, Japan and other countries frequently welcome Dr M with open arms and trade thoughts or discussions with him.

I leave it for you to decide what Mahathirism is. You can be assured that this will not be the last Pro Mahathirism blog entry from A Piece of My Mind.

(Credits to Sabrina Shukri, UPI, BDDC, Daylife, Malaysiakini and Wikimedia for the photos)


vinnan said...

Malaysia is built by Malaysians not Mahathir the asshole. He is no superman or genius. The real supermen nad geniusness sre Malaysians.

You do not even see fit to mention Malaysians who actually make Malaysia possible and wealthy. Just goes to show how f++++++ stupid Mahathirites are.

Jimmy Tham said...

For me Mahathirism = the ends justify the means / by hook or by crook

Western media and oppositions are bias in highlighting his flaws and not his achievements. But at least they have some decency to not claimed to be able to emulate what Tun M had done. Everyone has its flaws and that includes politicians and other statesmen.

Most notably, under his guidance, those international organizations grew in term of clout and achievement and of late after the resignation of Tun M, it has pretty much lost most of those gained during its glorious days.

Yet, you failed to include Tun M pet projects that had turned sour namely Perwaja and other GLCs such as Renong after the 98 crisis. When times are good, corruption can be tolerated, but when hell comes around, public will need a scapegoat to vent their anger at and understandibly opposition parties will be there to help aim the anger at those who managed to enrich themselves through those mega projects. I dont know if it's true, correct me if I'm wrong, apparently those profits from PLUS are channeled to UMNO's holdings through the shares they hold.

Can't comment much on those education policies as I'm really not that into education stuff but it is undeniable that Malaysia's education standard is laughable at best now but I would rather attribute the cause to the quota system which I think was enacted prior to Tun M's ascendance to power.

Like I said earlier, you either hate him or you adore him and after all that he had done for the country, he deserved a certain degree of respect from everyone. People could argue Malaysia could be worse or better off without him as the premier, but no body knows the exact answer to that and there's this poem that best describes the situation "The Road Not Taken".

The recent crticisms on Tun M stem from his purported report on the crooked bridge. After additional research by my part, apparently the proposed bridge would be too narrow for safe crossing for the panamax size ship and recent ICJ's ruling that any development on Msia side of causeway that can affect Sg has to be tabled to Sg for their approval. I too sort of doubt the plan now but just like before, Tun M surprised us of our short sightedness and proved us wrong, he might pull it off this time so I'll just keep my verdict for next time.

kamarul said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
NJ said...

Dear GWL,

Talking about "Mahathirism" and "Raja Berperlembagaan" in our beloved country, Malaysia, I am puzzled when one accuses the government (specifically TDM) trying to destroy the Constitutional Monarchy.

A brief reading (from an entry by Y.B. Eli in her Blog - see below) shows me that TDM/Government did not only try to protect the Monarch but the Rakyat at the same time.

Perhaps one should read the "Teks Ucapan" first before one make blind accusations.

Sorry, this is going a long entry. I copied below my comment I put up on another blog the other day.



Salam sejahtera,

Ucapan Tun Dr. Mahathir semasa pembentangan usul Pindaan Perlembagaan pada 1993 dahulu saya dapati daripada pautan berikut (Blog YB Elizabeth Wong):-

Sila lawati pautan di atas untuk teks ucapan penuh (kira-kira 15 mukasurat) seperti yang dipaparkan oleh YB Eli.

Izinkan saya membuat beberapa petikan ucapan tersebut:-

Para 13

“Raja Berperlembagaan atau Constitutional Monarchy tidak pernah memberi keistimewaan atau privilege kepada Raja untuk melakukan jenayah. Tetapi jika Raja tersalah semasa menjalankan tugas rasmi, Raja adalah bebas daripada tuduhan. Ini adalah kerana yang bertanggungjawab dan boleh didakwa ialah Kerajaan.”

Para 22 & 23,

“Tetapi kelulusan secara ini terhad kepada perkara- perkara yang tidak menyentuh hak-hak dan keistimewaan- keistimewaan Raja-Raja. Untuk meminda peruntukan Perlembagaan yang menyentuh Raja-Raja, Majlis Raja-Raja perlu memberi persetujuan.”

“Di peringkat negeri, tidak ada pindaan dibuat kepada Perlembagaan negeri. Dengan itu tidak ada undang-undang yang boleh diluluskan tanpa ditandatangani oleh Raja. Ini bermakna kuasa Raja-Raja di negeri-negeri mengatasi kuasa Dewan-Dewan Undangan Negeri yang mewakili rakyat.”

Para 26 & 27

“Justeru itu pindaan yang dicadangkan ini bertujuan mengelak atau menghalang daripada meningkatnya perasaan benci kepada Raja yang boleh membawa kepada tuntutan untuk menghapuskan Sistem Beraja. Pindaan ini adalah untuk menyelamatkan Raja-Raja sendiri dan sistem Raja Berperlembagaan. Untuk memperkuatkan lagi peruntukan Perlembagaan bagi mengekalkan Sistem Beraja, peruntukan dibuat supaya sebarang syor atau cadangan untuk menghapuskan Sistem Beraja akan ditakrif sebagai hasutan dan tertakluk kepada Undang-Undang Hasutan”.

“Pindaan ini tidak menyentuh keistimewaan-keistimewaan yang diberi kepada Raja-Raja. Raja-Raja akan terus bertaraf Raja, dan kemudahan-kemudahan yang disediakan kepada Raja dan keluarga di-Raja mengikut Perlembagaan dan undang-undang akan diteruskan.”

Para 38

“Almarhum Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj, Perdana Menteri pertama negara ini, pernah menulis bahawa kekebalan atau immunity ini tidak `satisfactory` kerana `Raja boleh membunuh tanpa sebarang tindakan terhadapnya`. Kesan peruntukan Artikel 181(2) ini amatlah luas. Oleh kerana Perlembagaan-Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan Negeri adalah juga undang-undang, Artikel 181(2) sebenarnya membenarkan Raja melanggar Perlembagaan. Sebab itu apabila Raja berniaga, walaupun dilarang oleh Perlembagaan, tidak ada apa-apa yang boleh dibuat oleh Kerajaan. Yang di-Pertuan Agong juga tidak boleh didakwa dalam mana-mana mahkamah. Tetapi Majlis Raja-Raja boleh melucutkan jawatannya. Sebaliknya sebagai Raja, Artikel 181(2) akan melindunginya.”

Para 52

“Perlindungan dan keistimewaan yang diberi kepada Raja bertujuan meletakkan Raja di tempat yang tinggi dan mulia. Perlindungan dan keistimewaan ini bukanlah untuk membolehkan Raja melakukan apa sahaja termasuk jenayah. Raja yang sedar dan faham akan maksud sebenar peruntukan ini akan sentiasa memelihara daripada mencemar diri dalam perbuatan atau berkelakuan yang tidak baik dan tidak disukai oleh masyarakat. Raja yang sedar akan tahu bahawa perbuatan tidak menghiraukan perasaan dan pandangan masyarakat akan menyebabkan rakyat akhirnya menyingkirkan Raja, bahkan menghapuskan Sistem Beraja. Inilah yang berlaku di negara- negara lain yang sekarang menjadi republik.”

Para 58, 59 & 60

“Dengan pindaan ini Raja tidak boleh mendengar rayuan dan mengampun dirinya sendiri. Jika ada Raja atau Konsortnya yang merayu pengampunan, maka Majlis Raja-Raja akan mendengar dan memutuskan kes berkenaan.”

“Raja juga tidak boleh mendengar rayuan dan mengampun anaknya. Majlis Raja-Raja akan melantik seorang Raja lain untuk mendengar dan memutuskan rayuan pengampunan anak Raja.”

“Dengan pemansuhan kekebalan Raja-Raja daripada tindakan undang-undang, kecuali ketika menjalankan tugas rasminya, adalah dipercayai Raja tidak akan melakukan perbuatan- perbuatan yang boleh didakwa di mahkamah. Dengan ini, Raja akan dihormati rakyat.”

Para 68 & 69

‘Akhirnya dengan berlakunya insiden Raja memukul rakyat dan sebelum ini satu lagi insiden di mana anak Raja juga memukul rakyat, Kerajaan tidak dapat memandang ringan kejadian-kejadian ini tanpa menjejaskan kredibiliti Kerajaan sebagai pemerintah yang bertanggungjawab.’

‘Kerajaan terpaksa membuat pendirian tegas untuk melindungi rakyat daripada dianiaya oleh Raja. Sudah tentu pendirian ini tidak dibuat kerana dua insiden ini sahaja.Sebelum ini terdapat banyak insiden di mana Raja menganiaya rakyat, Raja menyalahi undang-undang civil dan criminal, Raja menyalahgunakan wang serta harta Kerajaan dan negara, Raja menekan dan menganiaya pegawai-pegawai.”

Dari pembacaan sepintas lalu saya terhadap teks ucapan tersebut, saya berpendapat:-

1. Tujuan pindaan adalah untuk melindungi Raja (member imuniti) apabila Raja menjalankan tugas rasmi. Apabila berlaku cabaran di mahkamah terhadap tugas rasmi seorang Raja ini, maka adalah menjadi tanggungjawab Kerajaan untuk didakwa di mahkamah, bukan Raja (seperti mana yang berlaku di Perak.

2. Pindaan ini akan menghapuskan persepsi bahawa seorang Raja mempunyai imuniti mutlak, yakni, langsung tidak boleh dipertanggungjawabkan walaupun Raja itu melakukan jenayah (perlakuan peribadi, bukan perlakuan dlm sesuatu tugas rasmi). Ianya tidak membolehkan seorang Raja berlaku sewenang-wenangnya.

3. Tiada pindaan dibuat/dicadangkan kepada Perlembagaan negeri-negeri.

4. Pindaan ini bertujuan untuk melindungi/mengekalkan institusi Raja daripada “revolusi rakyat” yang benci kepada Raja akibat tindakan-tindakan seseorang Raja itu sendiri, yang diluar batasan (bacalah sejarah dunia yang institusi Rajanya berkubur akibat perangai Raja itu sendiri).

5. Pindaan juga cuba melindungi rakyat daripada diperlakukan sewenang-wenangnya oleh seorang Raja.

Oleh itu, tidak nampak bagi saya bahawa Kerajaan dahulu ingin “menderhaka” ataupun “menghapuskan” sistem Raja, MALAHAN, kerajaan dahulu ingin melindungi institusi Raja dari berkubur apabila seseorang Raja itu berlaku sewenang-wenangnya (contoh memukul rakyat tanpa sebab) kerana Raja itu ada imuniti (repeat : Raja ada imuniti dalam tugas rasmi sahaja, bukan dalam tindakan peribadi).
Apabila Raja bertindak sendiri diluar batasan, ia akan menimbulkan kebencian kepada rakyat yang akhirnya membawa bibit-bibit revolusi yang akan menguburkan sistem Raja itu sendiri. Oleh itu pindaan ini, saya rasakan wajar kerana Raja juga seorang manusia yang tidak boleh berlaku zalim, walau di mana sekalipun negerinya di atas muka bumi ini.

Jadi, saya agak pelik apabila ada komen-komen yang mengatakan pindaan ini suatu penderhakaan. Tolong baca teks ucapan itu dan rujuklah kepada yang lebih arif. Saya bukannya arif dalam hal Perlembagaan ini.

Negara Malaysia ada RUKUN NEGARA & PERLEMBAGAAN nya. Jangan cemari ia.

Terima kasih.



Faisal Azmi said...

Dude, i'm 32, im with you and will always be with TDM.. and i can say that 95% of malaysians agree with TDM so called "Mahathirism". The remaining 5% better known as the Moronism is actually the Nations Monkey. Jump here and there creating havoc here and there.

Jimmy Tham said...


So you did not deny the fact that the constitution was changed and you attributed the need to protect the monarchies?

Well I wouldn't deny the fact that it was a much needed progress then but I just don't quite agree with the point where you absolve of the guilt of the past government whom certain quarters had labelled them as treasonous. This issue is a little fluid and subjective I would say depending on which side you're on.

Let's put it in this scenario, imagine a Bendahara telling Sultan Mahmud that the sultan's power will be curtailed in the sense that he is a womaniser and the rakyat is angry at his majesty lavish lifestyle and reckless spending. Well Bendahara didn't has any evil intention or sort when he uttered such statement but in the eye of the sultan, can be deduced as a rebel and intended to usurp his majesty's power.

In another example, would PR be labelled as treasonous if they say they intend to remove the clause regarding the right to appoint menteri besar by the sultan in the future in order to protect the monarchs from being labelled as bias or dabbling with politic by the rakyat?

Really, it depends on how you view certain thing and everything has at least 2 sides to it.

Anonymous said...

vinna, u are right that malaysia was built by malaysian, genius malaysian, and u must remember that malaysian has a leader while doing it, a genius leader, and in this case the leader is TDM, so pliz accept the fact, that this genius leader has led the malaysian, weather they are genius or not, to what we are now....A goat thats leads a goups of tigers will go no where and can be ignored, but A tiger that leads a group of goats will be something to reckon with. even in this case, you are one of the goat.

Jared JJ Chew said...

Like him or hate him, TDM has indeed brought significant development to our nation. I agree with Jimmy that no man is perfect. One should ask, "how perfect am I then?"

Recognising one's successes is indeed important as this is how one shows gratitude. Recognising one's failings is equally important to allow us to learn from mistakes. In every success, there has been failure. You may look at it and say, if TDM had not made some mistakes in the past... the people of today wouldn't have realised that such decisions were wrong in the first place! Therefore, if one keeps harping on the failures and start to point fingers over who to blame, we WILL NEVER LEARN AND ACHIEVE SUCCESS! it is easy for us to criticise this and that while we are sitting on our chairs in front of our computers comfortably. The nation's responsibility does not lie upon our shoulders. We do not have pressure from millions of other Msians driven upon us. Until we can handle such tremendous responsibilities, we should not be too critical (critics is important as well for constructive development, but not to the extent of derecognising contributions as well) over our all our PM's actions.

Every PM has brought positive difference into our lives. To me, TDM has been the greatest 'Bapa Pembangunan' we have had so far. So show gratitude towards his contributions.

NJ said...

Dear Jimmy,

From my stand point of view in responding to your comment, I would say this:-

"Womanising" cannot be categorized as Official duty of a Sultan, therefore I agree that Sultan should not have the immunity if there was this kind of "Salahlaku" on personal capacity (The Sultan is just a human being like you and me in this respect)

"Perlantikan of Menteri Besar" is one of the Official Duty of a Sultan. The way I understand when reading the "Teks Ucapan", that you can challenge the Government, not the Sultan, if there was a ground to believe that there was a misconduct in the "Perlantikan". The Sultan has the immunity (as before) in this respect. But you must be bloody sure on this, before going to court, because this is so very sensitive to the majority of Malaysian.

Like i said, I'm not an expert. Please refer to an expert if you wish to understand more. I am putting my comment as an ordinary citizen of this beloved country named MALAYSIA.

And I am calling all those who claim that they TRULY MALAYSIAN to embrace the RUKUN NEGARA dan THE PERLEMBAGAAN, sumpah setia demi Negara tercinta.

I am more comfortable writing in BAHASA KEBANGSAAN, but this is just out of courtesy for those who has yet to master the National Language, embrace it, and use it in our daily lives - a Truly Malaysian would have no qualm or excuses in doing that. They even TITISKAN DARAH di bendera MALAYSIA YANG TERCINTA if need to.

Salam sejahtera,



river said...

i'm with you on this one GWL.
whatever tdm has done to this vinnan fella. i think he belongs to the subset of disgruntled people who blames all the misfortune he has encountered on one man who has nothing to do with this fellow's sad life. all traces of comments from vinnan had demonstrated nothing positive. this is an example of one of those mt junkies.

Anonymous said...

well, from my point of view, TDM have brought many outstanding achievements to our country. Despite all the negative impact that he made either political or economically, each decision has to make a sacrifice to propel the nations forward.

Yes indeed, i would not imagine of how it will look like if malaysia is not under his leadership. i would say we will still live in a jungle.

Its like, you have to play dirty to achieve a good vision, sometimes, u cant just tell the truth because the truth itself its hurtful for example.

so mark my word. i would say so far im only proud of 2 leadership ppl in our country. No offense, 1 is Tuanku Abdul Rahman, none the less, the person who incharge of forming malaysia,without him, there would be no "malaysia" at all and 2nd is Mahathir who makes malaysia truely malaysia into a really modern and futuristic malaysia.

P.S, it is really sad though that TDM resign for 22 years as PM. TDM should continue on and move forward with his ambitious projects for malaysia to be a very united and economically powerful country.

Mazli said...

I can think of two.

1. Pegging of ringgit, this saves our country then.

2. His idea to catapult tourism as an industry here in Malaysia. Back then I've said to myself who the hell gonna come here and what are we to offer. I was wrong then.

Mazli said...

I can think of two.

1. Pegging of ringgit, this saves our country then.

2. His idea to catapult tourism as an industry here in Malaysia. Back then I've said to myself who the hell gonna come here and what are we to offer. I was wrong then.