Dr M’s interview with BBCPosted: April 22, 2008
UPDATE #2: Full transcript of the interview can be found here.
UPDATE: The video of this interview can now be found on YouTube.
I’ve just been to BBC’s website to view a recording of the interview that they carried out on 18th April, with Dr Mahathir. Unfortunately, it’s not on YouTube at the moment, and I don’t think it will be any time soon. But the video’s here.
It was just a half hour interview, but I dare say that it covered a whole lot of issues. And Dr M was surely quick-witted enough to disentangle himself the few times where he almost got himself cornered. I don’t agree with a lot of how he did things when he was in power, and a lot of other things he said after he stepped down, but it is difficult to see him as a mortal enemy. After all, again giving credit where credit is due, he was in fact the man who literally PUT Malaysia on the world map. If not for Mahathir Mohammad, who knows what Malaysia would be today?
At the very least, before we criticise him, we must acknowledge what his leadership has done to help our country.
To read some of the issues that were touched on during the interview, we need only look at news reports, such as the ones below:
Dr Mahathir: I’m ready to be probed
On Anwar’s case in 1999:
“He’s (Anwar’s) welcome to do that if he becomes the Prime Minister of Malaysia, but if he wins members of the ruling party to his side it is the present leader who should be blamed because he can’t even get the loyalty of his own members,” he said during a 30-minute interview on the BBC World News HARDtalk programme with Stephen Sackur.
Asked whether he was ready to express regret over what he did to Anwar now that he has retired for several years, Dr Mahathir said: “Why should I regret? He was arrested under the laws of the country. He was tried in the courts of the country. Sentenced by court. If he was not wrong, no matter what you think about our judiciary, I don’t think he would have been sent to prison.”
On Abdullah Badawi and his judiciary reform:
“Fine, but it’s a political strategy by a man who is very unpopular at the moment wanting to show that he’s going to do something right.”
Full article here.
Dr Mahathir: I’m not anti-Western, but I will point out their mistakes
“I am not anti-western, I’m against the bad things done by the western countries,” he said.
“The British used to call us lazy Malays, incompetent Malays, untrustworthy Malays. We couldn’t say a thing about you, so when I was in a position to say what I think about you, and then said it, you don’t like it. When you say it to us, you expect us to like it, we don’t like it but we don’t have a way for our voice to be heard,” he said.
“It is not necessary that the system will work for everybody, but if they have a bad leader, even a democratic system will fail.
“You must remember that it is a democratic country that dropped the atomic bombs killing more than 200,000 people,” he said.
“You must have a certain understanding of the limitation of democracy in order for it to work,” he said.
On Anwar’s claim for Dr M to answer to everything he did
“Well, he is welcomed to do so, but I hope that he finds people who are neutral, who are impartial, probably foreigners, because I don’t trust people they are putting in charge of the people they don’t like,” he said.
On choosing Abdullah Badawi as his successor
“These people, they are very smart in hiding their true character, he was known as Mr Clean and I thought I should appoint a clean person to succeed me… although he was not the one with the highest votes (as vice president) in the party but I thought that he was older and I appointed him thinking that he is not going to do anything very wrong.”
Full article here.