It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s Mahathir speaking at a solidarity vigil for Tian Chua outside the latter’s office along Jalan Sentul in KL on 7 October 2017.
“We have to change this government; without change, we cannot have reformasi, because they are in power,” said Mahathir. “To implement all the reforms that we propose, we must become the government.”
“We do not ask the people for much” – unlike other countries where there were prolonged mass rallies and persecution and danger, said Mahathir. “When we have the next general election, we should all vote for the opposition. When we become the government, all our problems can be resolved: Anwar can be freed, reformasi can be implemented…”
Now, this may sounds simplistic – there is the neoliberal ideology to deal with – but he is right, in a key sense. Without change at the federal level, we will remain trapped in the Old Politics of race and religion while corruption runs rampant and saps our collective desire to progress. How long more can we continue like this?
Mahathir’s superhuman work ethic may be fading but he more than makes up for it with sheer grit.
The photo below best sums up his determination at 92 – seen here probably clambering onto a pick-up truck to address the gathering at Tian Chua’s vigil.
Full marks for effort.
Of course, we have to be careful about pinning all our hopes on certain individuals. Look how the hopes of many were dashed by Aung San Suu Kyi.
For all Mahathir’s valiant efforts, we cannot ‘outsource’ the work for change to him. What the country needs is not a Superman but all of us doing our part to work for change for the better, to promote justice and freedom and solidarity – no matter where ts with a dream – a dream for change, a dream for freedom and equality and justice in our land: