Dr M: They were bribed to talk bad about mePosted: June 22, 2008
IPOH: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad claims that former judges removed during the 1988 judicial crisis were “bribed” into making allegations against him.
It was evident, he said, that the former judges who received ex-gratia payments from the Government had been made to say negative things about him.
Dr Mahathir, who regarded the billions given to Sabah and Sarawak as bribes in exchange for support, said a government which practised such corruption could not expect its people and followers to be different.
“When people oppose, make them senator or minister, give them money, give them a Tan Sri title but is this the Government that we want, is this what we call democracy?
During his one-hour speech, Dr Mahathir also suggested the setting up of an advisory panel to the prime minister.
“When power is given to only one person, there is a tendency to misuse that power and it becomes hard to separate the person from that power,” he said.
The same, he noted, should also be applied to the post of Umno president.
Full article here.
My response to Dr M:
Dr M, you have such interesting ideas of how the government should be run now, that I’m very very curious about why you didn’t implement these wonderful suggestions when you were in power to do so. Why didn’t you set up that advisory panel to you the Prime Minister when you were able to? Did you not think you would misuse the power that was given to you yourself? Did you not think that it would be difficult to separate yourself from power?
You’ve made similar criticisms about the non-democratic procedures within UMNO itself in how it conducts the polls for the top posts in the party. But remind me if I’m wrong, I thought you were the one who coined up the criteria of needing 30% nominations before anyone even got the chance of vying for top post. Do you think, do you admit to your mistake? Are you saying now that it was through your own hands that UMNO is as un-democratic as it is now?
You mention here something about giving billions to Sabah and Sarawak in exchange for support, and that it is bribery through and through. That this is not something a democratic government would do. But what about when politicians were “bought” from PBS after they won the state elections in Sabah (albeit by a very slight margin) in 1994? Would that not be bribery as well?
It’s not that I don’t agree with you on your points. And nor that I think Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is the best Prime Minister in the world.
I just don’t think it’s very wise of you to be saying these things NOW, especially when you yourself are also susceptible to most of the criticisms that you are throwing to Pak Lah, UMNO and Barisan Nasional as a whole. The system, contrary to what you claim today, was your doing. It would take an absolute change in government and policies to overthrow the system that you rooted in place. Barisan Nasional would need a total make-over to be able to pull that off in 5 years since your retirement in 2003.
Even now, UMNO seems unwilling to accept that they have to change. Old habits die hard. Not even someone as influential as Ku Li seems to be able to garner the support required for him to challenge Pak Lah for the position of President of UMNO. Not even the changes that Zaid proposes in Cabinet are being accepted by UMNO members, for fear, imaginary if I may add, that Malays, and most importantly UMNO, would lose power.
UMNO doesn’t want to change. If they want to see change in leadership, it’s because Pak Lah is introducing the changes that UMNO members don’t want to see. And they also hold him responsible for NEEDING to make these changes in the first place.
They’re all thinking, if only Pak Lah knew how to contain all that talk about corruption and democracy and equality, then we wouldn’t even need to talk about reforms now. We would just be like before, happy as a lark.
UMNO doesn’t want change. They’ve grown used to the “power” given to them under your leadership. If anything, they feel that they have lost this “power, and they want it back. That’s the only change important to them at the moment.
I don’t have much against you. But don’t think that you can fool us into thinking that all was fine when you were the PM. Smoke screens don’t work as well as they did anymore.