Dr M Reacting Wildly to Lunas Defeat

PRM sincerely hopes that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad will not lose his good senses following the BN defeat in the Lunas by-election. He has been going almost wild blaming everybody and everything else. For a change why does he not examine himself and the BN policies?

A couple of days ago he blamed the defeat on the alleged use of religion and ethnicity by the opposition. As pointed out in my earlier statement, it is the BN that has always been manipulating the media to create ethnic and religious fears among the non-Malays, in order to gain their support. Now BN is already losing that support. The Lunas result has proven that the BA received more votes than the BN from the Malays and Chinese alike, and about a third of the Indian votes. The support for BA was multi-ethnic. How could it achieve this if it resorted to ethnic and religious campaigning?

Today Dr Mahathir is reported as alleging that the Muslims are divided because opposition parties have been poisoning the minds of the people. He even goes to the extent of claiming the opposition of using “their children as tools for their political purposes” and that the “children are being moulded at a tender age to hate and spite government leaders”. It is most unbecoming, to say the least, for a leader to spread such rubbish after the breaking of fast during this holy month of Ramadhan.

Dr Mahathir must realise that it has been his actions and policies that have split not only the various communities but also the Muslim community itself. He has survived all this while with his “divide and rule policy”.  Even within UMNO he practices and perpetrates this policy. Under Dr Mahathir UMNO has split more often than any previous leader of this Malay party. He could not tolerate Musa Hitam and Tengku Razaleigh, and he was willing to sacrifice the unity of UMNO so long as he could survive as number one.

Of course the most serious split within UMNO and among the Malays/Muslims has been caused by his cruel treatment of his former Deputy, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. As we all know, Anwar was beaten up almost to death while in police lockup, and although the culprit has been confirmed by an official inquiry into the incident, Dr Mahathir has never apologised for accusing locally and overseas that Anwar’s injuries were self-inflicted. We have also seen how, in the two  trials of Anwar, the AG’s chamber, the court, the police and the media allowed themselves to be so controlled that they have lost their legitimacy. Under Dr Mahathir important pillars of democracy have been undermined.

Further, government policies that promote the enrichment of a coterie of people close to the government leadership, at the expense of a large majority of people, have also alienated the latter. The privatisation and corporatisation policies, for example, have further burdened the people by making education, health and housing more expensive and less accessible to the lower and middle-income groups. At the same time corruption is becoming more rampant. These and many other policies need to be reexamined by the government. It will be more productive for the BN leaders to do this than to indulge in wild allegations against the opposition.

Dr Syed Husin Ali
President PRM
4th December 2000