YOURSAY | ‘The reforms are not happening because Bersatu wants to be boss…’
JW: Bravo, Malaysiakini columnist P Gunasegaram, on all 10 points. More and more, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is showing his old egoistic self - only his way or no way.
He may not be an outright racist but he wields the racist card effortlessly whenever it suits him, which is how he can further consolidate his authoritarian rule, his more recent gentler, grandfatherly look notwithstanding.
The younger generations better read up on the ills of Mahathir when he was PM the first time around lest they get duped and anoint him a demigod.
Quigonbond: Gunasegaram is spot on. The reforms are not happening because Bersatu wants to be the boss and after becoming boss, it does not like to be challenged.
Reformists within and outside Pakatan Harapan should consider coming together to form a third block and challenge this if we are to see real progress in Malaysia.
Across the Straits: As much as we all like to give Mahathir the benefit of doubt, the sum of the whole tells us it is business as usual in Malaysia Baru under the former dictator.
I am still waiting patiently for a real change in the country.
Keepc: I have always maintained that a person is a bully (or a dictator, tyrant or whatever) is because others allowed him to be.
Mahathir is what he is today because those who can stop him chose not to. These are the leaders of his coalition partners in the government.
Except for a few voices of descent from some of the junior leaders, none of the top leaders in PKR, DAP or Amanah has tried to check (openly or otherwise) the PM's obviously unilateral decisions.
If this situation is allowed to continue, how much more damage can be done before he steps down (assuming he keeps his promise to do so).
The Analyser: Only 10? But 10 is enough to have the growing number of disillusioned voters against Harapan.
One of the great ironies of Mahathir’s evil plan is that the defectors to Harapan now stand a lesser chance of being re-elected at GE15 than if they’d stayed with BN.
Short-term gain for long-term pain.
Anonymous_1527925538: It looks like what PAS had revealed is correct. There is an ongoing plot to undermine Mahathir. Just look at the appearance of all these long articles recently that paints him negatively.
However, the majority of the people, including even those in the opposition, is still with the PM.
So these horrible people can forget about it but ask themselves, and then hide in shame, what have they done for the people when compared to Mahathir?
David Dass: Mahathir did not become prime minister as a result of a military coup. He led what was considered an impossible fight to unseat BN who had ruled the country since independence.
What Mahathir was in his previous incarnation as prime minister, we all know. He was autocratic, impatient with obstacles in his path and cost us a lot of money with his grandiose schemes. But his objectives were clear.
He was proud of the nation and was determined to make us an advanced nation. His neglect of education, as well as rural development and poverty, all helped to bring us to where we are. We all know this.
But leaders of the four Harapan parties agreed to come together with Mahathir as the prime minister elect. They agreed to put the past behind them and committed themselves to a new future built on pledges made in the joint manifesto.
The GE14 result surprised everyone. A new cabinet was formed with Mahathir as PM. Perhaps there was unhappiness with the cabinet appointments. But as leaders of Harapan parties said, it was the prime minister's prerogative.
The cabinet appointments do point to shared governance. But their newness to being in government and inexperience caused Mahathir to set up the Council of Eminent Persons (CEP), which in turn set up committees to look after 1MDB investigations and institutional reform.
All have done their work and recommendations made to the PM. Former finance minister Daim Zainuddin was chosen to lead the CEP because of his experience and close relationship with the prime minister.
Both Daim and Mahathir are old and do not have much time left on this planet. All of us have to assume that the Mahathir of today has learnt the lessons of yesterday.
The slow pace of reforms is a cause for concern. And some of the rhetoric of racial entitlement is worrying to the non-Malays who supported Harapan.
Most of us understand the complexity and sensitivity of things and the need to win more Malays over, but right is right and wrong is wrong. And surely the case for doing right and being fair, just and upholding the constitution will be accepted by all right-thinking people - whatever their race or religion.
We cannot place all responsibility for whatever is not happening at Mahathir's door alone. All component parties have equal say. All are in the Harapan presidential council and all are represented in cabinet.
What are the ministers doing? Where is evidence of reform and action that will transform the nation and make all our lives better, especially the lives of the poor?
Mahathir must communicate his ideas and those of his government more effectively. Gone are the days when you can say one thing to the Malays and another thing to the non-Malays. Race-based policies and politics do not work.
A whole infrastructure has been built to help the Malays. Billions of ringgit of government money was expanded for them. The Chinese were left to their own devices. And the Indians were marginalised. And the indigenous people of Sabah and Sarawak along with the Orang Asli became the poorest of the poor.
I think highly of Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar but do not think that she should have spoken the way she did and certainly not to Singapore’s Straits Times.
But she made an important statement. She said that people who were or are moderate have not been empowered. She is absolutely right.
Ministers Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Maszlee Malik, Azmin Ali and Mujahid Yusof Rawa jump too quickly at the slightest display of aggression by the PAS-Umno team and try to echo the sentiments of the opposition.
Mahathir is the most experienced politician in the country. Many like me believe that he is needed to hold us together. But he must also heed the frustration and impatience of the people.
We know that the business of government is complex, we understand the need for patience, we know that the wheels of justice grind slowly, but we need to see evidence of reform.
Hafidz Baharom: I posit a question to the writer, Gunasegaram. Hasn't Harapan and the public already lost their souls when they decided to let Mahathir be PM again?
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