TTF: On the 29th of September 2001, Dr Mahathir Mohamad told a Gerakan delegates’ conference that Malaysia was an Islamic State, not nation. The announcement caught delegates by surprise and pitched the hall from standing ovations to pin drop silence. When met later, the Prime Minister told reporters that the country wasn’t just Islamic, but a fundamentalist one at that.
The ‘clarification’ triggered frenzy and had a large number of laywers up in arms. But nothing these lawyers said could override the fact that the Constitution of Malaysia, read as a single charter, was clear on the idea that Malaysia was an Islamic State. The fact that the country practices a dual system of law provides for the Islamic Syaria and proves that Muslims are required by law to abide by its tenets.
When things got out of hand, Mahathir coolly told reporters that the non-Muslims were free to interpret the Federal Constitution as they wished. When pressed further, he admitted that the Constitution of Malaysia was silent on the issue of secularity but clear on the rights for non-Muslims to practise any religion they wished. The announcement helped quell anxiety and brought the issue of secularity to rest.
However, on the 17th of June 2002, he stood up in Parliament and announced once again that Malaysia was Fundamentalist and Islamic, though this time, a country. The Chinese immediately lapsed into a state of hysteria and demanded that he stopped toying with their emotions. But seeing that his tenure as Prime Minister was about to end, he decided to leave it at that and refused to comment further on the matter.
So you see, in a span less than a year, the country went from being a “fundamentalist Islamic State” to “follow what your mother taught you” to a “fundamentalist Islamic Country.” And that’s vintage Mahathir for you.
Prior to the 14th general election (GE14), we were told that he would assume the role of Prime Minister for a period of two years before handing over the reins of government to Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Yesterday, we were told that the two-year plan was just an idea, that there was no telling how long Mahathir needed to set the country “straight.” Today, we’re being told that he will stay on as Prime Minister as long as we allow him to.
What next, Mahathir?
You’re gonna get the fat lady to sing?
TOKYO: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he is willing to serve as prime minister if that is the wish of the people or as long as they want him to.
“But of course, I don’t know how long I myself will last,” he said, adding that in two years’ time he would be 95 years old.
Speaking at the Nikkei Conference in Tokyo on Monday, Dr Mahathir pointed out that he was already the oldest prime minister in the world.
“It will be a record if I reach 95 and still prime minister,” he said in jest.
He underlined that serving the country was all that he cared for.
“If that’s what the people want me to do, I’ll accede to their wishes,” he said.
Dr Mahathir was sworn in as prime minister for the second time last month after leading his Pakatan Harapan coalition to a stunning May 9 election victory.
He was prime minister from.1981 to 2003.
Dr Mahathir is on a three-day working visit to Japan.
Source: The Sun Daily