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Dr M: Beware the perils of change

 | June 22, 2012

The former premier warns that political upheavals can stunt growth and exhorts Malaysians to vote wisely.

PETALING JAYA: Change in the political sphere has the potential to bring about perilous consequences for a nation, warned Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Therefore, the former premier wanted wisdom to prevail when Malaysians cast their ballots in the next general election.

As the nation’s 13th national polls drew closer, Mahathir had upped the ante with regard to campaigning for Barisan Nasional, the coalition which he led for more than two decades.

Some attributed this to the 84-year-old former premier’s fear that his alleged skeletons might come tumbling out of his closet should the Anwar Ibrahim-led Pakatan Rakyat seize federal power.

“Some time between now and mid-2013, elections must be held,” said Mahathir in his blog.

“I hope the people will not be swayed by the campaign of hate but should make a proper assessment of the qualities of the people and parties which will contest.

“Think of the development and progress of this country and choose wisely,” he added.

During his term, critics had labelled Mahathir a dictator, but in his blog the former premier said many rich nations in the developing world remained backward and undeveloped due to politics as a result of “dictatorships or wrong ideas about the freedoms of democracy”.

In both cases, the former premier added, the love for self was greater than the love for nation.

“Consequently, they will rather see their nations remaining poor and undeveloped as long as their selfish ambitions remain supreme,” he pointed out.

Vision 2020 at stake

Mahathir said that politics could also thwart his vision of Malaysia becoming a fully developed nation in 2020.

The former premier said that similar to the Arab Spring, there were some who were “bent on proving” that the Malaysian government was similar to the governments of these Arab nations.

“The government is being demonised despite the fact that this country with less resources than the Arab countries has developed beyond expectations…

“It has given its citizens a good life and has seen democratic election being held wherein the government party suffers serious losses and the opposition makes very substantial gains.

“In Malaysia, unlike in the authoritarian countries in the Arab world, there has never been elections in which the government gets 90% of the votes,” he added.

Mahathir said the fact that BN had won all the 12 previous general elections was frustrating for the opposition parties.

“But as much as the people can reject the government party, the people also have a right to return the same party in any election.

“What is important is that support for the party is due to its success in developing the nation and meeting the needs of the people,” he added.

Rural areas not neglected

In the aftermath of the Bersih 3.0 rally, the former premier was among those who claimed that it was designed to recreate an Arab Spring here to topple the BN government.

Meanwhile, Mahathir, known for his lack of tolerance for dissent, said the people had the right to criticise or even condemn the elected government.

“This is necessary to keep the government on the straight path,” he added.

In his blog, the former premier also wrote at length about the development in Malaysia, adding that rural areas were also not neglected.

The former premier said that he had visited numerous countries, but had never seen growth like in Malaysia.


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