Luxury tailors, Porsches and private jets – a tribute to Mahathir Mohamad

“Yes, according to Mahathir, he would do with nothing less than suits sewn by the nation’s leading brand in menswear, a brand that adorned some of the biggest names in the entertainment and services industry. And we’re talking the likes of Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, Chef Wan, Dato’ Jimmy Choo, Mel Gibson, and even the legendary world’s boxing heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali”

THE THIRD FORCE

Dr. Mahathir Mohamad arrived in Sarawak yesterday to address claims that he eroded the state’s rights while he was Prime Minister. The former premier, now Pakatan Harapan’s “top dog,” was received by the coalition’s state leaders upon arrival at the Kuching International Airport accompanied by a large entourage of bodyguards and all (video below).

Yes, you guessed right – Mahathir arrived in a private jet.

So rich is this guy, he flew in a similar jet to Kuala Kangsar on the 12th of June 2016 just to campaign for Parti Amanah Negara’s Dr. Ahmad Termizi Ramli. But that’s not all. Eleven days later, blogger Papa Gomo posted a screen-grab that depicted Mahathir’s grandchildren inside a luxury jet on their way to Kedah from Kuala Lumpur.

And here we are, destitute of such privileges, while the man who claims to want to ‘save Malaysia’ from the ‘wasteful’ and ‘extravagant’ practices of the Najib administration himself can’t make do without luxury jets and bodyguards. It is a wonder that this guy got extremely emotional when the government abruptly discontinued the services of his domestic help back in October 2016.

With those kind of shoes, could Mahathir not afford to retain his own help?

I mean, we’re talking about a guy who is able to fork out hundreds of thousands a year just to ride in private jets and pay the salaries of burly-looking bodyguards. Would RM2,000 – 3,000 per worker have burnt that big a hole in his pocket that it would have forced him to wear less expensive shoes or garb himself in anything that wasn’t designed by Lord’s Tailor?

Speaking of Lord’s Tailor, the former premier was invited to grace the menswear designer’s gala do at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton Grand Ballroom on the 5th of March 2011. In his speech (video below), the former premier quipped that Kedah tailors were just not good enough for him, forcing him to stick with the exquisite brand ever since he had his first suit sewn by them 25 years earlier.

Yes, according to Mahathir, he would do with nothing less than suits sewn by the nation’s leading brand in menswear, a brand that adorned some of the biggest names in the entertainment and services industry. And we’re talking the likes of Dato’ Siti Nurhaliza, Chef Wan, Dato’ Jimmy Choo, Mel Gibson, and even the legendary world’s boxing heavyweight champion, Muhammad Ali.

So the next time you happen to bump into Mahathir, be sure to ask how much his shirt cost or the watch on his wrist is worth. But it’s very unlikely that you’ll ever ‘bump’ into him, unless you’re involved in a car crash with a Porsche Cayenne S bearing the number plate MM1 downtown Putrajaya. If you are, be sure to dash out to see if the 92-year-old behind the wheel is safe. But chances are, that Porsche would have turned the back of your Proton into a mangle.

That is, if you’re driving a Proton.

Speaking of which, the former premier appeared bitterly distraught when the national carmaker undertook in an agreement to part with 49.9 percent of its stake to China’s Zhengjiang Geely Holdings Co Ltd (Geely). Ironically, this is the same man who almost bankrupted Proton by getting the manufacturer to acquire a majority stake in Lotus cars, an ailing British automaker that had been tossed around the automotive industry for quite a bit.

To compensate for losses, Proton was forced to make do with substandard fittings and backdated Japanese technology just to keep production moving. When asked why the national carmaker was bedevilled with quality issues, the former premier would simply say, “you only can expect to get what you pay for,” meaning, if you want your cars to come in cheap, you should not place your expectations high on a pedestal.

But Geely’s participation in the local automobile industry had the potential to change all of that. With a production capacity of 1-1.2 million units, it seemed likely that Proton would afford lower production costs while improving quality. And yet, Mahathir was upset that Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak agreed to Geely’s entry into the local manufacturing arena.

Question is, does the former premier not want Malaysians to get more value from the money they spend? Is he of the opinion that only billionaires are entitled to comfortable and quality rides? Is that why none of his favored rides cost anything below a million ringgit, some even costing millions, as in the case of his private jets?

Perhaps that explains why the former premier refused to retain his domestic help. As far as he’s concerned, those who are not millionaires or billionaires do not deserve to be within a ten-foot pole distance from him, unless they’re extended to him free-of-charge via government contracts. Perhaps it’s true what the late Tunku Abdul Rahman confided in a historian, that people of Keralan ancestry were miserly Manja Thunnis who would sneak up on people and strangle them from behind.

Yes, perhaps, Mahathir backstabbed his own domestic help and shed crocodile tears just to turn voters against the administration of Najib Razak.

Comments

Comments