As the world’s oldest prime minister, the outspoken Mahathir continues to lecture the world leaders.
Malaysian leader Mahathir appears to be a very angry man, or at least he pretends to be one. And when he’s angry, he tends to ask people to resign. In 2008, he asked his own hand-picked successor, (former) PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step down from office. Badawi, who spent most of this time sleeping on the job, obliged after a disappointing election result in 2008.
Seven years later, another of his hand-picked prime minister – Najib Razak – suffered a similar fate. Unlike Badawi, the scandal-plagued Najib refused to retire peacefully. He fought back but lost his shirt in the 2018 general election. The 93-year-old Mahathir was installed (again) as the 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia in May 2018. But his favourite past time did not end.
As the world’s oldest prime minister, the outspoken Mahathir continues to lecture the world leaders as if today was in the 1970s. Once, Lee Kuan Yew, the founding father and first premier of Singapore told journalists of The Straits Times – “Mahathir is a thoroughly destructive force. He is a very smart man, but his mentality is still stuck in the 1970s.”
Indeed, after no one is left in the country to challenge him, Mahathir ventures overseas to show his relevance. He started bashing everyone not to his liking, as if he was the Master of the Universe. He bashed leaders of Myanmar, India, Hong Kong, Israel, China and even Saudi Arabia – directly or indirectly. He lectured the world leaders how to run their countries, while his own backyard was in chaos.
He condemned the Burmese, Hindus, Jews, Chinese, Arabs and whatnot. Heck, he had even told Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam to resign over anti-government demonstration. Over the weekend (Feb 8), Mahathir raised his game – telling US President Donald Trump to resign for the one-sided “deal of the century” that ignored the rights of the Palestinians.
Speaking at the third conference of the League of Parliamentarians for Al-Quds (Al-Quds is the Arabic name for Jerusalem) in Kuala Lumpur, the 94-year-old Mahathir said – “Malaysia finds the proposal utterly unacceptable and grossly unjust. It’s truly disappointing that after more than seven decades, only one side of the two-state solution has come into form – that of Israel.”
For as long as one can remember, the Palestinians have been seeking all of the West Bank and East Jerusalem – areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Arab-Israeli Six-Day War – for an independent state. But on Jan 28, Trump announced a deal that includes the United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided capital” as well as recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the disputed territory.
Which part of war that Mahathir didn’t understand? Did he expect a war to be like a board game where everything can be restarted again? He seems to suggest that it’s alright for the Jewish lands to be invaded, occupied and destroyed by the Arab Muslims (between 1948 and 1967) but not alright for the Jews to defeat the Arab Muslims and reclaim its lost lands after close to 20 years (in 1967).
In actuality, the Arab Muslims – not Israel – were responsible for all the Palestinian’s problems today. On 15 May, 1948, combined forces of Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Yemen, Iraq and Saudi Arabia attacked Israeli forces and Jewish settlements. That invasion started what would become the never-ending Arab-Israeli War, and the Palestinian Arabs ended up stateless.
After Trump announced the deal, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said – “The idea of dividing Jerusalem is buried. The idea of returning to 1967 lines as we knew it is buried. The right of return is buried; not even one refugee will be entering Israel. Additionally, the IDF and Israeli security forces will have access to defend all territory west of the Jordan River”.
The plan also consists of a way for the creation of a Palestinian state – if in the next four years they meet certain conditions, including stopping incitement to terrorism, payments to terrorists and disarming Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. If the conditions are met, then a Palestinian state could be recognised, with limited sovereignty, as Israel would have full security control.
Mahathir was barking up the wrong tree, as did the Turkish Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The Turkish Armed Forces are the second largest standing military force in NATO, after the US Armed Forces. According to the latest 2020 Global Fire Power review, Turkey is ranked 11 of 138 countries in the military power index (Israel is only ranked 18).
Instead of whining, moaning and bitching about Palestinians being oppressed, Mahathir should propose to his buddy Erdogan and the Allied Arab Forces to join forces and invade Israel to free their Muslim brothers. The prime minister can also commit to send Malaysia’s 110,000 soldiers to fight for the Palestinians, never mind the country only ranked 44 of 138 in the Power Index.
Sure, the US is arming and protecting Israel. So, what can Mahathir, Erdogan and the Arab Muslims do about it? What good is constant bitching, but not daring to sacrifice for the Palestinians (Mahathir’s anti-Semitism started as early as 1981, when he became the premier)? Empty rhetoric will not end the so-called occupation of Israel and the injustice that is going on in the Palestinian land.
At the very least, Mahathir should have the balls getting his son Mukhriz to mobilise a Hong-Kong-style demonstration at the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur to pressure Washington to scrap the one-sided “Deal of the Century”. With two million supporters of PAS Islamist party, surely Mahathir could convince the people to protest for months in the name of “Jihad”, could he not?
The Malaysian prime minister was incredibly frustrated that Donald Trump was not impeached. Mahathir said he wished the American Senate would have made a better decision. He criticised the American system for accepting a president who allegedly abused his power to pressure Ukraine to pursue investigations of Joe Biden and his son Hunter in order to win the coming election.
It’s hilarious that the man who practised dictatorial-style leadership and gerrymandering and misused institutional tools to manipulate an electoral process to stay in power for 22 years (from 1981 to 2003) has the cheek to lecture Trump and Americans about fairness. Perhaps his advisers should advise him of the truckloads of one-sided deal he had done before.
Let’s forget about “ketuanan Melayu”, the ideology of Malay supremacy espoused by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) under the Mahathir leadership during his 22 years iron-fist rule. The concession on all PLUS highway, which was extended by another 20 years from 2038 to 2058 recently, is one of dozens of one-sided deals created by the old man to reward his own cronies.
The premier must be hallucinating if he thinks Trump cares what Malaysia thinks about the Israel-Palestine deal, let alone the calls for the US president’s resignation. Not only the president has won the impeachment battle, which was highly expected considering that it’s extremely difficult to fire a sitting US president, Donald Trump appears to be on his way to win his re-election.
Yes, Donald Trump is going to win in November, and there’s nothing Mahathir could do about it. If Hillary Clinton could not beat Trump with both clever facts and logics four years ago, no Democratic candidates could defeat Trump this time. Since Trump was elected, the Dow Jones Industrial Average has soared by more than 50% to more than 29,000 points, despite the volatility from the US-China trade war.
In fact, the appreciation of more than 50% of the S&P 500 was more than double the 23% average market return of presidents three years into their term. In essence, 100 million Americans who have 401(k)s and 42 million households who have individual retirement accounts would have benefited from the bullish stock market.
Since Trump officially took office in January 2017, the economy has added 6.2-million jobs in 33 months (7-million jobs if you calculate after his election in November 2016). More importantly, unemployment has fallen from 4.8% to 3.5% – the lowest in almost 50 years – with African American and Hispanic unemployment at historic lows.
Considering that no president running for re-election in the post-war era has been defeated with unemployment at less than 7.4%, obviously, Trump has set himself as a formidable candidate for re-election this year. GDP (gross domestic product) growth has risen from the 2% average clocked by the previous Obama administration to 2.5% (there were 2 quarters which Trump scored 3% GDP).
A Gallup poll revealed recently shows President Donald Trump had received the highest economic approval rating of any president in the past 20 years – a whopping 63% – thanks largely to his Tax Cut and Jobs Act introduced in 2017. In comparison, Barack Obama’s top economy score was only 59% recorded in February 2009.
At the end of the day, it’s all about putting food on the table. How’s the performance of stock market and economy of Malaysia under Mahathir’s administration since May 2018? Trump’s nationalist speech to his supporters is no different from Mahathir’s racist message to the ethnic Malays to rally support. Mahathir the hypocrite should re-look at his own racist and discrimination one-sided deals before slamming the Trump deal. – Finance Twitter