I think we should pity Dr Mahathir Mohamad. He is obviously suffering from withdrawal symptoms. After three years, he's thinking, 'Oh no, I really am not the PM anymore. I need to be the PM again!'
Can't blame him, after all, 23 years is a long time to have been drunk on power. He can say what he wants now, that's for sure. He is completely within his rights to take potshots at the current PM. After all, I myself have been very frustrated by several decisions (not) taken by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to restore democratic governance in this country.
But here's why I laugh at Mahathir's recent tirades. Democracy was destroyed in this country precisely because of Mahathir. I am in my mid-20s (definitely a child of the Mahathir era) and here are some of the juicier aspects of his career that need to be brought to the fore again:
1987: Mahathir used the ISA to arrest 106 activists, academics, artists, teachers, politicians and environmentalists for daring to have independent opinions, just as he claims to be doing himself right now.
1988: Mahathir single-handedly cut our judiciary at its knees by forcing the infamous amendment to Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution.
1997: Mahathir and his cronies led Malaysia into deep financial manure because of his policies
2001: Mahathir declared Malaysia an Islamic state, a further example of his disregard for the spirit and letter of our Federal Constitution.
Let's also not forget his oh-so-frequent attempts at muzzling the media, refusing publishing permits and even closing down prominent publications for daring to exercise ethical journalism.
Let's not forget that several of Mahathir's policies were catalysts for the growth of fascistic Ketuanan Melayu/Islam discourse. Let's not forget that it took Mahathir's administration 15 years before it even decided to pass any legislation on domestic violence, and he of all ministers was most vocal in attacking gay and lesbian Malaysians.
So yes, Dr M, I'm bloody frustrated with Pak Lah. I wish he'd get going on undoing all this misery that you, Dr. M, so cavalierly brought upon us during your 23 year reign. But, Dr M, I'm a much happier Malaysian now than I ever was during your administration.
So, from common citizen to common citizen, I hereby tell you that your call for Pak Lah to step down has as much meaning to me as a bicycle would to a fish.