If I were Dr Mahathir today at 93…

Opinion  |  Francis Paul Siah
Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | At least, two English dailies have carried editorials on the ills plaguing Pakatan Harapan in recent days. This is not surprising at all. It is a given that all is not well in the nine-month-old Harapan government.

Some of my fellow Malaysiakini columnists have also waded into the issue and with good reasons too. I can agree with some of their pointers.

The parties at the centre of the storm are none other than Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his fledging Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).

I am also guilty of criticising Mahathir over the past month. There were two issues I took exception to. The first was his decision to bar Israeli athletes from entering the country which ended their participation in the World Para-Swimming Championships originally scheduled to be held in Kuching this coming July.

The second was Bersatu’s intention to set up a chapter in Sabah, reneging on its pact before GE14 with Parti Warisan to not do so.

Yes, I am really disappointed with Mahathir on these two fronts and I stand in total disagreement with him on these issues.

If public feedback on the social media can be taken as a yardstick, there is one which I would feed to our prime minister, to inform him sincerely that his decision to bar the Israeli swimmers has triggered an international outcry. That decision has given Mahathir and Malaysia a bad name.

My posting entitled 'Sorry, Dr M, you don’t speak for Sarawak this time' in the Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) blog attracted a total of 31,755 unique visitors in a single day last Jan 28.

That was the highest number of visitors to our little NGO blog over the past eight months. Visitors were not only Malaysians but came from the US, Australia, Asian nations, the UK and other European countries.

This is honest feedback to our prime minister. Many do not understand his strong anti-Semitic stand nor his inability to separate race/religion/ politics from sports.

To speak from the heart, I feel bad for having to critique our prime minister at times and actually feel sorry for him. It’s not nice to speak unkindly of a man his age, no matter his wrongs, and especially so when I’m much younger than him. Guess we are only fallible humans.

This week, I sent this message to my WhatsApp list of friends: “I have been criticising Dr M in recent days so much so that I feel malu having to keep on hammering the grand old man. I am thinking of penning another piece to be titled 'If I were Dr Mahathir today at 93 …'. Tell me what would you do in his shoes at 93 today?”...

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