COMMENT: The public spat between Najib Razak and Dr Mahathir Mohamad has now received a touch of glamour and sex appeal, with a second “artiste” throwing her weight behind Mahathir.
Mixing showbusiness and politics can be a double edged sword. In Hollywood, film stars are like royalty and Washington politicians including American presidents tend to fraternise with celebrities to add panache (and attract donations) to an otherwise dull political scene. The same cannot be said of Malaysia.
Malaysiakini quoted actress Rozita Che Wan, popularly called Che Ta, who said she was a fan of Mahathir, who in her opinion had “sacrificed and contributed much towards Malaysia.
She said, “Mahathir “raised” Malaysia from a nobody, to become world renowned, this is a remarkable achievement.”
Older Malaysians learnt from history, that Malaya was the workhorse of the British Empire and after World War Two, rubber and tin exports to Britain, paid for all the rebuilding work, in Britain. Malaya was fabulously wealthy, with timber, gold and minerals. It was never obscure and unknown.
Before the British, Malaya was a major trading nation, with Malacca as a major port, on the trade route between China and India.
The fault lies in our history books. Umno Baru historians have distorted the truth and portrayed the country as backward, until the emergence of Umno Baru. Any grandparent will tell you that the history books of the 50s to 70s, are very different from the Umno Baru inspired history of modern Malaya.
When she was overseas, Che Ta was proud of Mahathir, because people would ask about Malaysia and talk about him.
The MH370 and MH17 tragedy have certainly put Malaysia on the map, but so have the 1MDB scandal, the human trafficking, the enormous gap between the rich and poor, the rising crime and the kidnappings in Sabah.
No foreigner would be complimentary about Mahathir. Mahathir allegedly had a hand in the Maminco Tin affair, the PKFZ mess, Project IC, and the BMF scandal.
In his “Look East” policy, he favoured the Japanese, and ignored the Malaysian Chinese, with their strong work ethic, and influenced the Malays to revile the Chinese, with a sustained programme of propaganda.
Outwardly, he rejected trade with the west but made a secret deal with Margaret Thatcher, whereby overseas aid was used to buy arms. This bit of chicanery became known as the Pergau Dam scandal.
The Petronas Twin Towers are recognised as a symbol of Mahathir, but they do not represent a progressive nation. Malays have learnt to worship money, and human values are sidelined. For many, the Twin Towers represent cronyism and corruption, the allegations of which are detailed in the book, “Malaysian Maverick” by Barry Wain.
Mahathir declared Malaysia to be an Islamic state, because he wanted to outdo PAS, and then plunged us into the living hell of deepening religious extremism and intolerance. He made full use of the ISA to jail his critics.
Celebrities should note that none of these “accomplishments” are anything to be proud of.
When Che Ta said that she “will always be with, and support Mahathir in his struggles”, one wonders at her naïvety. Mahathir is struggling to restore his legacy, and is aware that he will lose his freedom, if Umno Baru is toppled.
It would be pertinent to ask the celebrities, who endorse Mahathir, why they have forsaken their fans, many of whom are struggling with the GST and the corruption which is destroying Malaysia.
The rakyat have been speaking out against 1MDB, Altantuya and Scorpene for five years, and criticising corruption and injustice for 30 years. Why do these misguided celebrities withhold support for the rakyat? Why do they endorse Mahathir, who is allegedly ‘The Father of Corruption’, but ignore the rakyat? – The Star Online