As the Nation is gearing up in preparation for Malaysia’s Independence day; there are many of the older generation who will reflect on the struggle the nation went through to rest it s sovereignty from the hands of colonialists. Others will remember the struggle against the communists who like Pakatan Harapan and Tun Mahathir also sought to destroy the nation’s democracy.
We can see that Independence conjures different images, thoughts and memories to the mind. There are more and more people who reflect on life in Malaysia post former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir as a sort of independence.
The nation could collectively breathe a sign of relief as the authoritarian rule of Tun Mahathir came to a 22 year end in October 2003. Malaysians knew the end of Mahathir’s rule would soon follow additional changes. Some of the changes included the end of the ISA (Internal Security Act), a less antagonistic approach to the West and to Singapore.
In pointing out Tun Mahathir’s antagonistic approach to the West, it is a little ironic how he is now almost begging the West to intervene in Malaysia’s internal affairs.
During his reign of power, Tun Mahathir would summarily scoff at the idea of the West (USA, UK) interference. Today, things are much different; the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak stands ready to cooperate on matters where those countries have common interest with that of Malaysia and Malaysia’s sovereignty is not jeopardized.
Tun Mahathir would claim that life under his rule was much more transparent and democratic. However, there are those like former US Vice-President Al Gore, former US Secretary of State Madeline Albright and those here at home (who were the recipients of his scorn) who would have a different take on the his term in office. For many people, Tun Mahathir’s time in office could not conclude soon enough.
They were the ones who probably rushed the stage saying ‘No, No’ when Tun Mahathir announced that he would resign as Prime Minister. Those saying know either misheard him and thought that he said that he would stay on as Prime Minister; prompting them to say ‘No, No’ or they rushed the staged saying ‘Go, Go’! The Jury may have to deliberate that for many years to come.
The one thing which needs no deliberation is the fact that Malaysia has moved passed the fear which seemed to linger around Tun Mahathir’s reign as Prime Minister. And even though Tun Mahathir is still attempting to play the political games which he employed throughout his political career, he is finding little success.
With advances in communication Tun Mahathir can no longer just make a claim and expect the rakyat to believe it. Which is largely why many do not accept the untruths he (Tun Mahathir) and Pakatan Harapan have spread about the Prime Minister and so called missing money.
Tun Mahathir is a Timex watch living in a digital age. And many have happily become independent from that old watch! Happy Merdeka!