Monday, May 5, 2008

Mahathir, Live And Direct On The Web

Mahathir, Live And Direct On The Web

Apologies for there have been no postings recently. My internet connection has been off for a while.
Recent development that caught everyone by surprise was Tun Dr Mahathir's (TDM) foray into blogging. While this may have been his reaction to his (own) accusation that he is denied access to the mainstream media, general public are excited to hear from him directly.

His first two postings were outright politics and looking at the response generated, this can be one of the sites with most hit's in recent times apart from those sites maintained by mostly anti-establishment groups. Perhaps Mahathir should open his sites for placement of advertisements; at least he could get some income since he is a pensioner now.

If you look at some of the comments posted, there are large numbers of admirers of this strongman as much as detractors. He still commands respect of even the opposition members eg Jeff Ooi still keeps up with whatever "Mahathir". Jeff claims that he still looks up to Mahathir as a great leader.

He has been said to be the person who destroyed the major institution such as the judiciary and police, caused upside of corruption, a dictator who abused the ISA (Operasi Lalang etc), saw the birth of cronyism, made the poor poorer but own a proton etc...
(eh….wasn’t Anwar Ibrahim there all the time) Many conveniently forget this.

Until today no one has come forward and successfully charged him for all his wrong doings and TDM is vehemently confident that he has done nothing wrong. Not even Anwar Ibrahim, who claimed to have boxes of evidence, had done anything.

While TDM’s postings have been largely predictable and consistent as he has been always, I personally want to hear more of his personal side rather than his political ramblings, at least once in a while. I'm also tired of waiting for his memoirs, which has been long time in the making.

It would be interesting to know his personal side. I have read many books on him, both by local observers/writers, even an interesting but difficult to read PHD thesis on him by an American, John Hilley (Malaysia: Mahathirism, Hegemony and the New Opposition). Most of these authors quote various incidents, decisions and actions to define what TDM is, to the extend that they have coined 'Mahathirism' as how they see of him.

I have met, shook hands and spoke to him many times (lost count actually) during my stint in Carcosa Seri Negara. However that was more of a hotel employee and guest interactions. I have then noticed that there was always an aura surrounding him, a kind of respect mixed with fear, even among the senior cabinet members and his so-called close friends and cronies. Everyone tend to keep a distance and usually he will be left alone when he is waiting for someone, usually foreign head of state etc at Carcosa.

I was also amazed with his reading ability, he is able to read the NST, in broadsheet format those days in just over 20-30 minutes and later in the post-function press conference, able to clinically and at times, comically answer all questions, usually those arising from articles in the papers.

What I would like to see are; What is he, how do he think, how can he manage his time, what Mahathir wanted all his life, Why he made decisions the way he did, how did he take all the criticism, how much he likes glory, Anwar Ibrahim, or rather how did he managed to look young. etc.

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