Monday, October 01, 2007

Rise to the occasion

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad may still be in hospital following his second heart bypass, but it doesn't stop him from giving the OK for the opening of his bakery business in Kuala Lumpur.

Sufi Yusoff, his press secretary, sent a flyer to bloggers today on the opening of The Loaf @ Pavilion tomorrow. The high-end bakery business is a joint venture between Dr Mahathir and his Japanese partner. Sufi urged everyone to attend the opening.

Meanwhile, Singapore's Today newspaper has dedicated a long article to Dr Mahathir and Marina Mahathir's blog about her father's current condition.

The article is generally fair and balanced. But I also feel that some parts are not quite justified.

For example, the writer Pauline Loh said that Marina's blog has become a "hugely successful public relations scoreboard for her father, known for his scathing criticism of the current leaders, an attitude sometimes interpreted as a reluctance to let go the reins he had held for 22 years."

For the record, Dr Mahathir stepped down willingly in 2003 and declined to hang on to any government portfolio. He kept his silence for two years before he started criticising the Badawi administration for certain policy decisions.

And no, I don't think Dr Mahathir has any intention to cling on to power. It is not wrong for him to be upset over changes that effectively unravel his legacy. I'm quite sure there was a gentleman's agreement between Badawi and his former boss to carry out his legacy as part of the handover exercise.


The writer also said that "the elder statesman is now seen as a grandfatherly figure among Malaysians, who humour his crankiness and scathing tongue, and in fact seem to miss his decisive bluntness."

I don't think many Malaysians simply humour his 'crankiness'. Throughout his two decades in power, I think Dr Mahathir had 'taught' many Malaysians to speak up through his no-holds-barred attitude towards many bigger political figures. He wasn't afraid to criticise even the United States when it's justified. One example is Dr Mahathir's criticism of the US invasion of Iraq.

He gave many Malaysians pride. I also believe that Dr Mahathir is the ultimate nationalist. I couldn't help thinking that Dr Mahathir must have picked his surgery date to be after the National Day celebration on Aug 31, so that he won't miss all the festivities.

According to the well-written The Star article and pix,
no one suspected his impending surgery especially given the way he enjoyed himself at the 50th Merdeka parade, then just two days from his date with his heart surgeons. I believe no doctor would have said no if he had wanted to schedule his surgery early due to the urgency of the matter.

Anyway,
please go to the opening of Dr M's bakery if you happen to be in KL tomorrow. I'm quite sure this will help bring a smile to Dr M, and help him rise to the occasion. :-)

4 comments:

A true Malaysian said...

Dr. M is really a 'controversial' figure, not only to Malaysian, but also to Singaporean and the rest of the world. You can refer to this http://www.talkingcock.com/html/article.php?sid=2241

Many people like and dislike Dr. M, agree and disagree with his ideas and so on...He is just a human like you and me. A human did 'wrongs' during his / her lifetime. We should have the courage to admit that we did wrong if we did wrong. Then 'the wrongs' will become 'forgivable'. You agree, Sophie?

Pradeep said...

I have great regard to Dr Mahathir, who I believe has built the Malaysia of today.

oversee said...

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aiyomanaboleh said...

If only he could remember what happened a few years ago, then my take on him would have been .....