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Dr M: I’m no intellectual

 | August 27, 2012

The former premier claims that he is no intellectual, but admits to using his brains more often than most.

PETALING JAYA: Mention Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s name and it will evoke mixed responses.

Some feel that he was and still is Malaysia’s most illustrious and brilliant leader, who placed the nation on the world map. To others, he is the personification of evil itself, the root cause of all that
is wrong with the system.

But in his latest blog posting, the former premier admits to not being the sharpest tool in the shed and therefore his deeds are unworthy of being placed under the microscope.

Mahathir is amused when others exhaust their brains to analyse his opinions and actions when he helmed the nation for more than two decades.

“I am not an intellectual but I admit that I use my brain more often than most,” he said.

Mahathir revealed that he was among those with the lowest results in the Senior Cambridge Examination to be admitted into the College of Medicine.

“There were seven Malays whose results were all very inferior to the other students. Apparently the British were practising affirmative action in 1947. So much for being an intellectual,” he added.

Explaining why he penned the controversial book, “The Malay Dilemma”, he said that one need not be wise to notice that the Malays were generally poor compared to the others in his home state of Kedah in the 1930s, 40s and 50s.

“They clearly faced a dilemma whether to get something of the wealth of their country for themselves or to just remain as they were. Hence the book ‘The Malay Dilemma’,” he added.

As for his “Look East” policy, the former premier explained that it did not take an intellectual to understand the logic of learning from successful nations.

‘Learn from successful people’

“The Japanese and Koreans succeeded in developing their countries after the destruction wrought by war. Obviously if we want to develop Malaysia we should learn from these successful people,” he said.

And finally, his Vision 2020 to transform Malaysia into a developed nation.

“If you want to go somewhere you must determine the destination. We want our country to develop. The destination must obviously be the developed countries. The steps that have to be taken must be those which lead to the status of a developed country,” he said.

“I must admit that if I had no authority I would not be able to do anything to achieve these targets. It is not power. It is the authority accorded to the prime minister which is not accorded to anyone else.

“Without that authority one can dream. Many Malaysians may have dreamed but authority gave the opportunity to implement dreams,” he added.

According to Mahathir, he was not a complex person nor was there any mystery with regard to his actions.

“If other PMs want to do what I did, they could. But if they have other agenda then they would attend to fulfilling their agenda. It is as simple as that.

“There really is no necessity to figure out the complexity of the thought process and the mystery of doing these simple things,” he added.

However, Mahathir did not touch on the main issues during his tenure which were being scrutinised such as the allegation of mass corruption, the jailing of dissidents, including his former deputy
Anwar Ibrahim, the castration of the judiciary and the media as well as the charge of turning enforcement agencies as well as the Election Commission into subservient tools of the government.

It is these issues which continue to eclipse the successes of Mahathir as the nation’s fourth prime minister.


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