Friday, June 09, 2006

An open letter to the former Prime Minister....

Yesterday the former Prime Minister Dr.Mahathir Mohamad criticised the present PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on the development of this country... Personally I am happy with the way the present Prime Minister is doing his job..Not the way the former PM did but in a different style... Well, different people have different style of working... Lets give Abdullah Ahmad Badawi the present PM a chance to do his work.. Remember in the last election the people gave Him and his Political Party, the National Front a overwhelming majority to rule this country for the next five years... We are a democracy, so this is how thing should works... Read on...
[ I have copy and paste this article as it appear in the NST today...New Straits Times]
An open letter to Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad: Not going gentle into that good night
09 Jun 2006
By Rehman Rashid

WHY, Tun?
That’s what we — the products, inhabitants, stewards and legatees of the country you designed and built — need to know. Why have you become so harsh a critic of your successor’s administration?

You made them, too. They have cleaved to your vision of what this country needs to be, and they are moving forward — or at least attempting to, as best they can, given the way forward as they see it.

It wasn’t necessarily their way forward; it was yours. No one has argued with the road map you drafted for this country, nor the direction you determined, nor even with the pace you set to get where you wanted us to go.

Nothing of your legacy as prime minister has been dismantled. Such restructuring as is happening in the corporate Malaysia Inc you established — Proton and MAS in particular — is for companies in desperate trouble, needing to be re-engineered to new and more businesslike specifications. Whether this will turn them around remains to be seen, but it needed to be done.

On the fuel price hike, your suggestion that fuel subsidies could have been maintained by allowing the exchange rate to float was, well, radical. Certainly, so was your decision to peg the ringgit to the US dollar during the Asian financial meltdown in 1998. By that time the claws of the crisis had sunk deep, and there was no lack of popular and political support for your soon-to-be famously successful move.

But the present administration, in reducing fuel subsidies, was responding to imperatives of long-term prudence, and that too has been by-and-large accepted and supported by the people. Times have changed, Tun. You should know: You changed them.

In the case of the Tebrau bridge, you seemed beside yourself with irritation. But it was precisely with respect to national sovereignty that the idea was scrapped; it’s hard to understand how you could have implied otherwise.

We know it’s a gamble, but for this term at least, the electorate have fallen behind the present administration with a greater mandate than you received even at the record-breaking height of your popularity.

But that was in 1982. For the ensuing 21 years, you charged forward with stupendous resolve, damning the torpedoes, brooking scant dissent, building this city on rock and roll.

Your successor is more graceful at the waltz, it seems — and so far the people have responded fondly enough to that, too.

How has Malaysia changed in the first half-term of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s administration? It’s quieter. More circumspect. There’s more introspection at the top; a need, as much as a willingness, to listen, perhaps even more than to speak.

There’s greater inclusion, more accommodation. Necessarily in these circumstances, and yet so easily depicted as indecisiveness, there’s less unilateralism. And certainly, less of a hell-for-leather, gung-ho, we’ll-do-it-our-way charge at the future.

Yes, there’s less money sloshing around the system; there are fewer big buckets to draw from. This Government has turned away from top-down economic development through megaprojects towards those grassroots sectors where but a fistful of ringgit might mean as much as thousands in other palms.

It’s a necessary attention, somewhat sidelined in your time, and quite cost-effective in terms of improving the lives of those Malaysians who could most do with it (and being recognised for it at the ballot box).

The present administration is not to be criticised for this. Which is by no means to say it is not to be criticised at all — even in the most strident, sneering or contemptuous terms, if that helps get a valid point across.

Just, please Tun, not by you. Our nation’s history should not have to deal again with the bitter irony of a revered leader leaving office honourably — indeed, covered in glory — only to henceforth speak for the far fringes of the Opposition.

It’s time to let us go, Tun. For better or worse, we owe our character as a modern nation to you. This is what we are now. This is the way we’re going. God knows, we may stumble or fall, stray off-track or derail entirely. We may reveal ourselves to be not as you had hoped but as you feared: effete, incompetent, mediocre; a polity of petty concerns, narrow minds and limited abilities.

But we’ll struggle along as best we can, for better or worse, as who and what we are. We have to. You taught us that.

It’s your choice, of course; you still have the keys to the kingdom granted you by a grateful populace for having carried them from the past to the future in a single generation. The respect accorded you will last forever; there would be no way to discredit what you did for Malaysia without virtually negating Malaysia itself.

But you of all men should know there are only three choices for the rare few: Lead, follow, or step aside.


Anonymous said...

That's easy for you to say coz you are at the receiving end of those fuel subsidies whether you are rich or not...

desiderata said...

pak idrus:

Thanks for your visit and support. I completely agree with your views here today.

There's another issue I wrote PASSIONATELY about today (June10), I hope you can add your viewso on this Wong Sulong guy -- holding PR of Aussie yet holding a post as Star's GEIC which to me is NOT TENABLE!
I wirte with conviction becos I care for my NegaraKU like you, pakidrus!:):)