Mahathir is ignorant in more ways than one

Mahathir is very myopic in his views and his latest blog posting proves it. Mahathir failed to look at the big picture 35 years ago and he is failing to see it today as well. Instead of grumbling and complaining, Mahathir’s blog posting should have talked about what Pakatan Harapan will be doing to improve things (since he is alleging that things are currently very bad in Malaysia). 


Raja Petra Kamarudin

“Clearly the election will not be fair. But there are other things that the government is openly doing to paralyse the opposition. Leaders of the opposition parties are being accused of all kinds of crimes. An incident which happened 30+ years ago is resurrected and a Royal Commission of Inquiry set up which, as expected, finds the opposition leaders had committed breaches and must be investigated by the police.”

“It would seem that the ruling party in a democracy can abuse and manipulate the powers of the government as it pleases. Clearly all these can happen in a democracy. In a number of other democratic nations, irresponsible extremists and apparently deranged people can be elected. The result is bad government and bad governance.”

“Still democracy is the best system of government ever invented by man. If democracy does not deliver, it is not because of the concept of government of the people, by the people and for the people. It is because of the abuses of the system. Democracy is a great system for the governance of a country. It is however not perfect. It is open to abuse. As we can see today democracy can easily be transformed into a kleptocracy, a government of thieves, by thieves and for thieves.” (READ MORE HERE).

That was what Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in his latest blog posting. Due to his ignorance, what Mahathir does not realise is what he is saying has already been said more than 2,300 years ago by none other than Greek philosopher Plato.

In book VIII of The Republic, Plato describes several stages of government that are intolerable, yet unavoidable, meaning governments are a ‘necessary evil’. And a capitalist system (as opposed to a socialist system) will lead to “a society with an enormous socioeconomic gap, where the poor remain poor and the rich become richer off the blood and sweat of others.” (Does this not sound just like Malaysia?)


Plato then talks about the difference between ‘necessary desires’ and ‘unnecessary desires’. Necessary desires are those such as our desire for shelter and sustenance. Unnecessary desires are desires that we are able to overcome, yet refuse to. These desires include luxuries and lavish possessions.

This best describes the Malaysian situation as well. And the opposition is very cleverly exploiting this issue by telling the voters that they are facing hardship and financial difficulties because of the government (hence you need to change the government). The truth is we allow our ‘wants’ to take priority over our ‘needs’ so we end up having not enough money for our needs.

A good example would be we need a car to travel but we do not need a BMW to travel. The BMW is what we want, not what we need. So we allow our wants to take priority over our needs.

Plato had already warned us about this 2,300 years ago so what is Mahathir talking about?

The thing about Mahathir is he can change positions faster than you change your underwear. Take Mahathir’s allegation that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is ‘selling Malaysia to China’. Cabinet Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan replied to that as follows:

“Learning from our mistakes of the past where the government of Tun Mahathir and Tun Daim had borrowed extensively from Japan but ended up having to pay more than double when the Yen appreciated sharply  against the Ringgit, the present government made sure that the soft loan from China has built-in mechanisms to mitigate exchange rate risks. the ECRL that the project is a domestic investment funded with a soft loan from China with very favourable rates that is lower than the government’s cost of funds.” (READ MORE HERE).




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