If Mahathir had his way, he’d prefer a Manja Thunni to lead UMNO – Tunku Abdul Rahman

“However, that lack of regard had nothing to do with Mahathir’s ancestry but more with his bigoted and narcissist slants. “If he had his way, he would want UMNO to be led by the Manja Thunnis and the Pakistani merchants,” joked the Tunku. According to him, Mahathir was a chip of the old block short of the latter’s unrestrained temper. In every other sense, there was no doubt they descended from the same lineage”

THE THIRD FORCE

Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s stint with active politics never really began in 1945. Contrary to claims published by The Malay Mail Online (below), his political career began in 1942 the minute he discovered that the late Tunku Abdul Rahman chose to remain the District Officer for Kulim under the Japanese Military Administration.

In his memoirs (compiled by a former historian, unpublished), the Tunku insists that son of the late Mohamad bin Iskandar Kutty (fondly referred to as Master Mohamad) was likely nurtured to go against members of the aristocratic class by his own father, who he claimed was a “pukka reformist” and “anti-aristocrat.”

“They (father and son) were cut from the same cloth.”

According to the Tunku, Mahathir, who resumed his studies at the Sultan Abdul Hamid College right after the Japanese surrendered in 1945, would go around telling that the “District Officer of Kulim sold the Malays out” during the occupation. “Everyone in the College knew of his (Mahathir’s) distaste for me,” said the Tunku, who added that the aversion was reflective of Master Mohamad’s own detestation of his mannerisms and etiquettes.

Now, there’s a reason for that.

Long before Mahathir came into this world, his father – who was appointed headmaster at the “Government English School” (later renamed Kolej Sultan Abdul Hamid) – was faced with the daunting task of approaching the Tunku’s mother over the “intolerable attitudes” displayed by her son. Having sought permission from the late Che Manjalara, the headmaster forbade the young Tunku from arriving at school on the shoulders of an ageing and badly hunched palace attendant who “seemed as if his life was draining from him.”

In his memoirs, the Tunku relates how Master Mohamad traced his ancestry to the communist settlers of Southern India who despised the ceremonious exuberance with which the Maharajas imposed their will upon the people. According to the Tunku, every indicator pointed to the idea that Mohamad was himself against the eminence and reverence that the traditional Malay had bestowed upon our rulers.

By 1942, Mahathir began displaying much of his father’s slants and had very low regards for the Monarchical Institution. The young Mohamad pissed the Tunku off when he undertook to “correct some grammatical errors” that appeared in a letter the latter was due to send to a high ranking British official. According to Tunku, it was a “deliberate attempt to embarrass me,” as the “corrected version” somehow wended its way to desk of the British official “before my own did.”

In the later years, Mahathir would confide in the late Tunku Abdullah bin Tuanku Abdul Rahman – a flamboyant playboy and member of the Negeri Sembilan Royal family – that he had no qualms with his Indian heritage but wished the Tunku would “see people beyond their skin colour and ancestry.” Now, it is true that the Tunku never had that high a regard for Mahathir.

However, that lack of regard had nothing to do with Mahathir’s ancestry but more with his bigoted and narcissist slants. “If he had his way, he would want UMNO to be led by the Manja Thunnis and the Pakistani merchants,” joked the Tunku, who added that the Kedah born was a chip of the old block short of the latter’s unrestrained temper. In every other sense, there was no doubt they descended from the same lineage.

And it is that lineage which currently seeks to punch a hole in Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak’s leadership of Malaysia. If there is one thing on Mahathir’s mind this very moment, it is to see to it that Najib is removed from government by hook or by crook before he (Mahathir) breathes his last. Now, do you have any idea why that is?

Because Najib is an aristocrat.

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