History will not be kind to Mahathir

YOURSAY 'Former PM Mahathir is doing a good job in character assassination - his own character, that is.'

Mahathir: Tell me why I am a dictator

your sayOnyourtoes: Mahathir, let me tell you what a dictatorship is. We don't have to follow the textbook or your definition.

When the going was good, when you were comfortable and secured in your position, of course you could act magnanimous and be a democrat.

You were nice and gentle to the minorities so long as they were submissive and subservient to your whims and fancies. You were gentle to your own people so long as they were controlled and kept ignorant.

You have continued to hold elections because you knew the outcome would favour you. You held cabinet meetings when you knew all those sitting around you were nincompoops.

You tolerated MPs speaking in Parliament because you knew it was harmless. You allowed free press because the press knew how to control themselves. You allowed court hearings because you knew how the judiciary would decide.

You talked about bangsa Malaysia when you were in pedestal of power. All the businessmen praised you and worshipped you because you gave them unfettered profits at the expense of the public.

Then the 308 (March 8, 2008) came, and what are you now? A pathetic racist, a tribal leader exploiting the fear and insecurity of Malaysians, not unlike those in Perkasa. Get the picture?

Telestai!: Here are five easy steps on how to become a dictator:

1) Decimate all your political opponents and potential opponents so that you have no successors.

2) Destroy all public institutions and ombudsman that are capable of questioning your actions.

3) Use Christians, non-Muslims and non-Malays as bogeymen so that the Malays are also fearful of being undermined and hence support you without question.

4) Once you have accomplished 1,2 and 3, plunder the country's wealth and resources and in the process create a graft food chain with your cronies.

5) Voila, you are officially a dictator with absolute power and plenty of money.

Swipenter: Mahathir, you were a dictator successfully masquerading as a pseudo democrat.

You bastardised and subvert every democratic institution in the country so that no one can oppose you or those who still have the guts to go against you, you throw them in jail using draconian laws.

You cheated in every election to ensure a two-thirds majority so that the opposition remained toothless. On the surface, democracy seems to be working in the country, but the irony of all ironies was that you deviously used the democratic processes to ensure that absolute power rest in your hands.

You ruled by law and have no respect for the rule of law. That is a hallmark of a dictator. You did that so successfully for 22 years just as you successfully hide the fact that you are not a true blue Malay.

Hermit: Mahathir was a dictator who faked himself as a Malay to entrap Umno Malays to worship him as their saviour.

He used the NEP (New Economic Policy) and plundered the wealth of the nation and the national coffers for his family and cronies. Public utility services were privatised and awarded to cronies.

He changed the protection of public interest into the protection of cronies' profit. He introduced OSA (Official Secrets Act) so that nobody could question his plundering of the nation's wealth. He utilised ISA to put his political opponents behind bars.

He terrorised and removed judges who interpreted laws not in his favour. He even curtailed powers of the rulers who obstructed his ways.

Absalom: If you watch National Geographic, you will see some animals which are so good at disguise that you will hardly notice them, at least not until it is too late for the preys.

Probably it's same with some dictators, who can (especially if they control the information about what people see of them, hear from them and about them) build a good disguise or cover to appear differently.

It is only after they leave and/or much damage done that the people realise what a bad leader they had. Of course, if you ask any dictator, he is not going to admit it.

Moontime: The wily ex-PM aka dinosaur strikes again. This time asking sarcastically what makes him a dictator. Of course, when you compare the likes of Saddam Hussein, Benito Mussolini, Hosni Mubarak and Hitler, you look like a saint.

Okay, let's play devil's advocate here: if you're not a dictator, why is Malaysia lagging behind its competitors in the global market? Why do we have chronic brain drain among the intellectuals? Why does race-based politics still dominant here?

You, dear sir, are a dictator by deceit. Plain and simple. You used other people to do your dirty deeds and claim innocence.

You publicly humiliated your own deputy on TV and gave explicit consent to him being unlawfully detained, interrogated, beaten half to death and charged over a crime so pathetic it made this country a laughing stock of the world.

You may not behave like a normal dictator but your past actions were enough to justify that label. You had a chance to be a statesman, sadly you squandered it big time.

Not Confused: Witness that Mahathir was PM for well over 20 years. How can this be when compared with other real democracies where the government and PM change every few years.

Mahathir manipulated the entire country - from the cabinet to the civil servants and NGOs, etc. He then stifled and repressed any opposition by subtle means, to the point where we today have a muzzled press, subservient ‘partners' in the BN coalition, lemming-like civil servants and neutered students who have little or no ability to discuss and debate.

The only change is that we now have a stronger opposition - an opposition that is more than capable of taking over from the bankrupt BN regime, a regime of Mahathir's making.

Cascara: Wikipedia under 'dictators', classifies 'Mahathir Mohamad of Malaysia' as a 'contitutional dictator'. He shares this title with Mubarak, Marcos, Ayub Khan, Mugabe etc.

Other types of dictatorships are - military dictatorship, communist dictatorship, Gadaffism, Fujimorism, fascist military dictatorism, etc. We have Mahathirism as a distinct style.

Tekee: History will not remember him kindly and he can do nothing about that, no matter what acrimonious tantrum he now throws.

Changeagent: Mahathir commented that Mubarak's political enemies were frequently arrested, detained without trial and in many cases, they simply disappeared.

"There was no freedom of expression or a free press... Anyone can be appointed by Mubarak to be a minister. They can also be sacked at any time."

For a while, I thought he was talking about himself again.

World Citizen: There is a saying "give him enough rope, he'll hang himself". Mahathir is doing a good job in character assassination - his own character that is.

Lately, he's been saying what the rest of us are thinking about him. Quite sad when someone does not retire gracefully.

Dr M, you ask for proof - here it is

Perhaps not a dictator, but clearly an autocrat

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