Step one towards dismantling Tun M’s legacy is to strip his titles

IF that is what former twice premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants – since he is no longer relevant now – his legacy should be dismantled and he should be stripped of the titles given to him by the palace.

When the rakyat gave him the second opportunity for a second premiership reign 15 years into his retirement, he destroyed his own legacy by breaking the trust of the people who were willing to forgive him for his past.

Once thought to have propped up the country’s economic growth by dishing out his mega projects to his cronies, his past has now returned to haunt him.

He should know what he did that caused innocent Chinese and Malay victims to be sacrificed on the altar for the sake of his and a few other leaders’ political mileage during the May 13 political (as opposed to racial) riots.

Recall how he had forced Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman to resign. We all remember how his handpicked successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was forced to step down and does he think he can do the same to Prime Minister (PM) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the unity government?

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

He should also know what he did to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Tun Musa Hitam, the Memali villagers, and the people he placed under the Internal Security Act (ISA) during Operation Lalang in 1987. Many of the reporters from The Star, Sin Chew Jit Poh and Watan lost their jobs or were unemployed for many months.

Hurting feelings of Chinese

His once-ardent supporters are now either gone or already in the 70s or 80s or 90s (like him who is 98) if they are still alive. Many would have faced the judgement seat in the afterlife but this Tun continues to create disharmony between people of all races in Malaysia.

Since becoming the main character behind his Malay Proclamation agenda, Dr Mahathir has once again attempted to play another round of destabilising a government that was set up legitimately by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (YDPA).

He should face the music for what he is doing. Given that the police have already concluded their investigation of his case about a month ago, perhaps it is time for the palace to act if the Deputy Public Prosecutor chooses not to charge the nonagenarian for his seditious remarks against the Malay Rulers as well as the Chinese born and bred in Malaysia.

In a speech which went viral, the former PM who was both defeated and lost his deposit in his Langkawi constituency during the last general election even has the indecency to claim that the Malays can no longer depend on the Malay rulers to protect them.

In a most bizarre manner, he then blamed the Chinese for using their opium money to control the Malay rulers.


Pic credit: Wikimedia Commons

For the record, opium trade no longer exists. Even at a time when the opium trade was booming, not every Chinese were opium traders. The Chinese were brought in by the British to work as labourers in both the ports and the tin mining.

It was through their hard work and frugal lifestyle that some of them were able to make a living and later invest in some small businesses and rubber plantations to capitalise on the booming tin and rubber industry.

Looking back, despite the contributions of the community towards the development of the country, the Chinese, in particular, have suffered a lot under the Mahathir regime. Even the DAP which is more multiracial than Gerakan has suffered from the descendant of a Kerala man who migrated to Malaysia.

Seditious statement

Dr Mahathir has hurt the feelings of the Chinese when he claimed that opium money was used to blind the Malay rulers to the point that they failed to carry out their responsibilities.

In the first place, most Malaysians of Chinese descent do not even have direct access to the Sultans or the Raja-raja nor do they have the money to bribe or pay the Sultans.

What Dr Mahathir had uttered is highly seditious to the Malay rulers, especially coming from a senior politician. As Heads of Islam in their respective states, Dr Mahathir’s accusations of the Sultans and Raja-raja is most insulting to say the least!

If only Dr Mahathir can protect the rights of the Malay, then the Supreme Law of this country – or the Federal Constitution – is no longer relevant. Resounding the call by PM Anwar, if Dr Mahathir cares so much for the Malays, he should fork out half of his accumulated wealth to help the Malays.

The reason why Dr Mahathir has made himself irrelevant is because he is still living in the era which dates back to 1940 when he first participated in protests to oppose citizenship policies for non-Malays in the Malayan Union.

For this, it is perhaps time for the Agong and his Malays Ruler brethren to act on Dr Mahathir by stripping all the titles awarded to him by the palace. This would be a good starting point to help him dismantle his legacy.

If he no longer has confidence in the palace – or is already incapable of living as an honourable man like Tunku Abdul Rahman – why does Dr Mahathir still keep these titles which he no longer deserves? – July 29, 2023

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