The ball is back in Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s lap, because only he can “recalibrate” Malaysia. Prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim cannot, nor can the inspector-general of police, nor powerful non-Malays, who would only commit political suicide.
Mahathir must act immediately. He has nothing to lose, but generations of Malaysians will suffer if he does not stop the betrayals.
We elected him to reform Malaysia and he did a good job for four months, after GE14, before his mask slipped.
Mahathir’s policies, which he sowed in the 1980s, have seriously impacted our lives, as have the footprints which were left by the Iranian revolution of 1979.
America and the West use their economic sanctions to control rogue nations. In Malaysia, clerics working alongside amoral politicians control Muslims with threats about heaven and the afterlife, and they subjugate the non-Muslims with affirmative action policies.
It is obvious that no one dares to oppose Mahathir and he should clean up the mess he created. Many young Malaysians, who are ignorant of Malaysian history, adore him, while many older Malaysians, notably the non-Malays, despise him. The majority of the Malaysian diaspora living overseas were rejected by the country of their birth, because they were not “sons of the soil” (bumiputera).
Mahathir criticises anyone who displeases him, including sections of the community whom others dare not censure, for fear of inviting a charge of sedition.
During Mahathir’s first tenure, few in his original party, Umno, dared to oppose him. The vocal few were silenced by the Internal Security Act (ISA), and became cellmates in Kamunting. Today, many of his former critics, are as meek as mice.
We should have been celebrating a “developed” Malaysia, in line with Mahathir’s Vision 2020, but today we lurch into unknown territory, in a nation that has, for decades, regressed under the stewardship of corrupt leaders, their repugnant cronies, equally corrupt civil servants and opportunistic clerics.
The irony is that the Iranians have also come full circle. In 1979, they wanted to depose the corrupt Shah, a puppet of America. Forty years later, they demand regime change and oppose the rule of a group of elderly men in robes – the clerics.
The Islamisation of Malaysia did not happen overnight. Its roots are in the Iranian revolution of 1979.
PAS has always dreamed of a Malaysia ruled by syariah law, and the party felt empowered by the Iranian revolution.
In 1979, Mahathir was the deputy leader of Umno and also the Deputy PM. He realised the implications of the Islamic resurgence and predicted that Umno would lose Malay votes to a re-energised PAS.
When he became PM in 1981, a charismatic and young firebrand, Anwar Ibrahim (above), the leader of Malaysia’s Islamic youth movement, Abim, was handpicked to join Umno, before PAS could recruit him.
In one fell swoop, Mahathir achieved many objectives. As a member of the government, Anwar could no longer organise student-led strikes to highlight poverty and starvation in northern Peninsular Malaysia. Anwar quickly rose through the ministerial ranks. More importantly, his Islamic credentials gave Malays the impression that Umno could compete favourably, on Islamic terms, with their enemy PAS.
The downside came when Anwar became the minister of education. He tinkered with education, using his Islamic and Malay-centric agenda.
The Iranians may have seen the exiled Ayatollah Khomeini as the agent of change, but the creation of the Islamic Republic was followed by disorder, sanctions and more fighting.
Saudi Arabia and Iran were once allies, despite their Sunni and Shia origins. Their animosity started in 1979 and Malaysia is caught in the middle. Shia Muslims in Malaysia are persecuted and we continue to accept Wahhabi money from the Saudis.
Religion and politics should not mix, and Mahathir is well aware of this, but he is a consummate politician.
We are neither Arab nor Persian, but nevertheless, Islam is a useful tool to control the Malays. The Islamisation of Malaysia, the rise of Jakim and the Arabisation of many Malays threatens our own rich culture and multi-cultural heritage. One of the consequences of the Iranian revolution and Saudi Wahhabism is the rise of intolerance and the oppression of women.
After the Iranian revolution, women were ordered to wear the hijab in public and today, any Iranian woman who protests is subject to whipping and a long prison sentence.
Senior members of PAS would prefer women to stay at home and produce babies, but this is contrary to Mahathir’s vision of a developed state, especially as women make up half the workforce. To his credit, Mahathir has promoted many women to important roles, in recognition of their contributions, and to raise their profiles.
Today, some Malays believe that the cross, Chinese New Year decorations and celebrating Christmas and Ponggal show that Muslims are abandoning Islam. Despite many corrupt Malay leaders abusing their power, nationalist Malays still portray the non-Malays as untrustworthy. What happened to simple logic?
To destroy a country, one just needs to cripple the children’s education. Malaysian education needs a serious overhaul, but will Mahathir do what is right for Malaysia, instead of thinking of his own interests?