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COMMENT | I had actually made a conscious decision to either refrain from writing or talk less about Dr Mahathir Mohamad in this column since last year.

For one, much has been said and written about our former two-time prime minister and two, I also feel that there is no point in continuing to lambast the grand old man.

We keep on repeating our grievances and negative vibes against Mahathir; so much so that at times, the nonagenarian has my sympathy, too, for the unkind and harsh words used by many in their critiques against him.

Over the past six months, I had written only one article with Mahathir as the key subject. This one is my second in half a year and should not be taken as yet another Mahathir-thrashing piece but as a little history lesson for what it’s worth.

Over the past week, I was hospitalised with an old medical condition that returned to haunt me.

A dear friend kept me company and the subject of his long-drawn conversation over my two days of recuperation was Mahathir. Some issues on Mahathir brought up happened to coincide with what was to occur or had just been announced over the same period this past week.

This is what I find interesting and hence, worth putting to paper.

My friend was telling me that at one stage of Mahathir’s first premiership, he did ...

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