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Understanding Tun Dr Mahathir's sharp and critical thoughts

Dr Mahathir Mohamad: The Writer
(This blogpost was first posted on instagram)

In light of the controversial and sensational attacks against PM Najib Razak, I was reminded of an old book, a compilation of Dr M's newspaper articles from 1947-72 (Thanks to Berita Publishing).

"The Malay Dilemma", banned in the 1970s, may be Dr M's most celebrated book, but little is known about his collection of writings from the 1940s.

As ironic as it may sound, Dr M has always been critical towards the establishment. What? Read on.

In 1949, it was against the Royalists. He criticised some segment of the Malay aristocrats for rejecting the proposal for a "Malay Deputy High Commisioner" post. (Context: The idea of such post was to train and to prepare Malayan administrators for independence. However, some members of the royalty sees it as a threat to the powers and influence of their sultans).
[Note: Dr M was 24 years old when his articles were published in the Straits Times, 1949. He was barely 20 years old when he joined the anti-Malayan Union demonstrations in Alor Setar in 1945]

Next, in 1969, Dr M wrote a scathing letter demanding Tunku Abdul Rahman to step down. Tunku resigned the following year. 35 years later it was Pak Lah's turn. Pak Lah too resigned after serving only 5 years in office. Today it is Najib's turn.

In summary, Dr M's criticism against the PM/establishment should come as no surprise. He has been doing it for the last 60 years, except of course during the period when he was part of the establishment -- when Tun Razak appointed him Education Minister in 1972, Deputy PM in 1975 and PM for 22 years, 1981-2003. He was grateful to Tun Razak for bringing him back into mainstream politics. Grateful to Tun Hussein for appointing him as DPM. So both were spared from Dr M's criticism.

This post is in no way serves to justify his attacks but merely to offer some contextual background to his continuing criticism against the Najib administration.

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