Dr Mahathir akin to a PM slayer, says professor

  • Nation
  • Monday, 09 Nov 2015

PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is akin to a “PM Slayer,” writes Professor James Chin of the University of Tasmania.

Chin, in his book “Malaysia Post-Mahathir: A Decade of Change” said that Dr Mahathir had brought down two prime ministers and was tackling a third.

He added in the book that Dr Mahathir was responsible for the downfall of Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and was calling for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to step down.

In the book that was released on Monday, Chin said that Dr Mahathir has maintained his influence in Malaysian politics in order to ensure the “continued relevance of Umno and ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy).”

“Mahathir’s greatest political fear is reforms that will promote equal citizenship rights. For Mahathir, keeping a race-based political system is the key to keeping Umno in power, and in the long-term this allows the creation of a family political dynasty, the Mahathir dynasty,” Chin wrote.

Chin also said in the book edited by him and Prof Joern Dosch of the University of Rostock, Germany that Dr Mahathir was trying to ensure “that his political dynasty stays intact” through his son, Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir.

“Mahathir, who turned 90 in 2015, wanted Mukhriz to be elected vice-president of Umno in 2014 to have a shot at the prime ministership. Since that attempt failed, getting rid of Najib would be one way of giving Mukhriz another chance to get to the top,” Chin wrote in the chapter A Decade Later: The Lasting Shadow of Mahathir.

Chin added that any attempt for Malaysia to move towards a merit-based economy will be met with opposition from Dr Mahathir, similar to that experienced by Najib with the New Economic Model (NEM).

He added the NEM was an attempt to shift affirmative action from being ethnically-based to being needs-based.

Chin said this shift would make Malaysia more competitive, as well as market and investor friendly.

He said this was a push towards a merit-based economy that “went against everything that Mahathir had stood for” as it was an attempt to move away from the racial approach used under the New Economic Policy (NEP).

Chin said that Dr Mahathir and Malay rights group Perkasa saw this as a “frontal attack on the Malay special rights”.

“Dr Mahathir believed that without the NEP, there was a real possibility that the racial riots of May 13 may erupt again.”

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