Sunday, November 12, 2006

Dr M Giving Umno Meet a Miss

According to The Star, former Malaysian PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad will give the general assembly of the United Malays National Organisation on Monday a miss after recovering from his mild heart attack. The former PM and Umno president looks good in The Star picture although the report said he seemed weak during the 20-minute interview.

(Pix: The Star)
Dr M, 81, definitely needs to take it easier at his age and after his second heart attack, and choose his battle more selectively. He can still be a useful watchdog of Malaysia and the rest of the world.

In the case of Malaysia, most of his criticisms of the current administration warrant a scrutiny although some feel that the "pensioner" should stay mum. They include issues like the much abused Approved Permit car import system, the need for national carmaker Proton to get a foreign strategic partner, the need to step up and distribute more equitably government development expenditure, the need to rein in nepotism and cronyism, and the need to build a new bridge to replace the old causeway linking southern Malaysia and Singapore.

In the international arena, Dr M continues to provide a necessary Asian voice in the world dominated by Western and American agenda. For example, the US President George Bush, who ordered the invasion of Iraq in 2003, was quick to endorse the Iraqi court decision last week to sentence former President Saddam Hussein to death for "for crimes against humanity for the killings and torture of hundreds of Shi'ites".

Dr M's equally quick response: "A court set up by his enemies has no right to try Saddam Hussein. A court set up by an illegal occupying power has no jurisdiction whatsoever to conduct the said proceedings."

Mahathir reportedly added that if the verdict was right, then US President Bush and British PM Tony Blair should also be tried "for the unlawful invasion and occupation of Iraq, the death of over 650,000 Iraqis and the brutal torture of thousands of innocent men, women and children in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay."

PS: Blair has said he opposed the death penalty for Saddam following the Iraqi court decision.

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