With the reactionary forces now taking over Umno, Mahathir has fired a broadside calling for a strong, powerful government.
He said in his latest blog entry that a weak government would be incapable of dealing with racial and religious conflicts:
We now have a weak Government and clearly it is incapable of dealing with the tendency towards conflicts because of race and religion. Because of its weakness it commands little respect and even the weakest parties would thumb its collective noses at the Government. The Government apparently has no idea how to handle these problems. We see it apologising only to have it’s apologies rejected.
Hang on a minute. Who are the ones actually stirring these conflicts? Who exactly is responsible for “race politics”?
If the government is weak today, it is because of its inability to reform the oppressive structures, many of which were put in place during Mahathir’s time. It is this inability to reform and undo the damage of the Mahathir era that led to the Abdullah administration losing much of its popular support. In fact, the Abdullah administration’s initial popularity was premised on the hope that Abdullah’s softer approach promised to usher in an era of liberalisation that would be in stark contrast to Mahathir’s repressive rule.
Of course, we know that Mahathir’s use of the terms “strong government” and “stability” are but code words for authoritarian and even repressive rule.
Apparently, 22 years of authoritarian rule is not enough for Mahathir. It was 22 years of suppressing problems and differences and sweeping dirt under the carpet, 22 years of one scandal after another.
Now with his son Mukhriz leading the nominations for the Umno Youth chief post and other candidates inspired by the regrouping of reactionary forces, Mahathir clearly feels emboldened enough to call for a return to authoritarian rule…. err, I mean “powerful government”.
19. We have had strong Governments for almost 50 years. When we gained independence few gave us any chance. They foresaw racial clashes and political instability.
20. But they are wrong. With strong Governments in place, the bickering between races was reduced. The country was stabilised and with that the economy grew. The objective of becoming a developed country by 2020 seems possible.
21. Now with this weak Government, with incompetent leadership the country is not developing as fast as it used to.
22. In a single ethnic country it does not matter if the Government is weak because it will not have to deal with the heavy pressure of racial conflicts even if the Government is less competent.
23. My observation of Malaysian politics over the last 50 years has convinced that a powerful Government lead by competent leaders is necessary for multi-racial Malaysia.
Obviously, Mahathir has learnt nothing about the rakyat’s yearning for human rights, social-economic justice, and accountability in all aspects of public life. Obviously, he knows zilch about their aspirations for People Power and democratisation.