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Mahathir Mohamad’s premiership was a mixture of adulation and fear. He was considered a Third World hero, a Malay champion and a divisive character. His admirers range from kampung folk to western educated non-Malay professionals. Although he resigned in 2003, he refuses to retire gracefully and cannot resist the political limelight. Last week, his damning statement, “To be given handicaps is to ensure fairness” caused outrage.

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