Confessions of a dictator

Everyone says Dr Mahathir Mohamad is a dictator, therefore it must be true, says the former prime minister in a caustic blog post. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, January 17, 2018.

PEOPLE and the media never fail to point out that I was a dictator. I presided over an authoritarian government of Malaysia for 22 years. Any mention of my name must be preceded or followed with the qualification “dictator”.

Looking back now, I realise why, as prime minister of Malaysia I was described as a dictator. There were many things I did which were typically dictatorial.

Actually I showed this tendency very early. Upon being appointed minister of education, the first command I made was for the “Menteri” plate above the number plate of my official car to be ripped off. Maybe I feared assassination. I don’t know. But, unlike other democratic ministers I did not have the “menteri” plate on my car.

I also demanded for a six-men police escort. But they told me that a minister gets only one plainclothed policeman. I warned them to wait until I became prime minister.

When I became prime minister I demanded for UTK (Special Forces) plainclothes escorts as well as 10 outriders. They gave me only four. It was really not enough. I felt very unsafe. I had to look right and left and also behind to identify assailants early. Now that I am not the prime minister, you will not see my numerous bodyguards. This is because they are invisible.

In America I was surrounded by six burly secret service men. If anyone shot at me they would take the bullet. President Kennedy was almost saved by them. President Reagan was more lucky. I wanted the same body-guards at home. But there were no six-footers in Malaysia to absorb the bullets. I have to make-do with smallish Malay policeman.

Now I dare not get into a crowd. I don’t shake hands and selfies are not allowed. My invisible bodyguards check all cameras and hand phones of those who get within 10 feet from me.

As education minister I demanded that schools must not be named after me. All my democratic predecessors had schools named after them. One even had a school named after his wife.

I did not want schools to be named after me because dictators normally do not like personality cults. So when I became prime minister I did not allow my name to be attached to any building, road or public toilets. Now the Najib government is doing me a favour. Reference to me in textbooks have been erased. Thank you Najib for being such a democrat.

To continue the narration about my dictatorship, upon being appointed prime minister I ordered the release of 21 political detainees, detained under ISA by my predecessors. This release was of course the tradition with dictators. Previous democratic PMs did not release any detainees. They in fact added more because that was the democratic thing to do.

But what about Ops Lalang? Well, Tun Hanif is on video to say that it was his decision. He was my security adviser and he said I could not countermand him. He says that as my security adviser, he decides.

It is not true, of course. I went over his head and ordered as many people as possible to be detained and tortured. If he denies it, it must be because of bran. Still, he does not seem to like bran.

Then there is Tan Sri Abu Talib, the AG in my time. He recently declared that I was not responsible for Tun Salleh Abas’ dismissal. This just cannot be true. Everyone saw how I caught hold of Salleh Abas by the scruff of his neck and threw him out of his court. I don’t know why Abu Talib should deny popular belief. Maybe I gave him bran. I don’t remember.

As wife of prime minister, Hasmah was also known as FLOMH (First Lady of my house). She was fond of pink diamonds and Hermes handbags.

She bought many of them in the flea markets in London and Hong Kong. She wore them around her neck, arms and fingers every day. There are lots of pictures of her, loaded with expensive jewels. No one could fail to notice that she was the wife of a dictator. She also has a food taster.

My children held high posts in the government and Umno. They naturally got government contracts which they sold at good prices. That is why they are among the super rich. Unknown to anyone, Mukhriz has been appointed PH’s deputy prime minister in waiting.

I set up five heavy industries and pocketed a good percentage of the capital. The money is kept in secret accounts in numerous banks. The accounts are so secret that I myself don’t know which bank. Not to worry. The police will find out. Another RCI can be set up.

Tun Abdullah and Tun-to-be Najib conducted a search for the money I had stolen. So far they have not been able to trace any. But not to be disappointed, Najib discovered that 30 billion ringgit was lost by Bank Negara 30 years ago. Since I was the prime minister at that time, it must have been me who had stolen the money. So he set up a royal commission of inquiry and sure enough I was found guilty.

I inherited from Tun Hussein a Boeing 737 business jet. It was big and expensive. So I decided to sell it and buy a smaller aircraft. I believe the savings went into my secret account. I don’t know where. There should be a police investigation.

As a dictator I made sure the prime minister’s residence in Putrajaya had a tunnel connecting it to KLIA. If anything happened I could escape through this tunnel to a waiting plane. Until now the tunnel cannot be found.

With the money I had stolen, I built two private palaces in Country Heights and The Mines. They are surrounded by high walls and guarded 24 hours a day by security forces. I also have fierce dogs. Anyone visiting me is frisked for weapons.

When I was about to retire, some people suggested that they build a memorial library for me. All American presidents have memorial libraries.

I commanded as a true dictator that the memorial be dedicated to previous prime ministers also. I instructed that it be called the Perdana Leadership Foundation. The great achievements of all previous prime ministers must be kept there. Of course my record as a dictator is preserved for eternity there. All the valuable gifts given to me as PM, including 26 cars, are kept in the Galleria in Langkawi. Unfortunately the government refuse to return them to me.

There are many other authoritarian acts perpetrated by me. But, to cut a long story short, as a true dictator I decided to resign. All dictators do this. Hitler and Mussolini unfortunately died before they could resign. Franco of Spain and Salazar of Portugal were about to resign when they died.

But I was lucky. I was able to resign before I die. This confirms that I was a true dictator. I ordered some ministers to rush up to me and cry when I made the announcement.

No one should know about all my authoritarian acts. It is sufficient just to state that I was a dictator. If asked why you say I was a dictator, just say everyone said so before. Therefore it must be true.

So carry on calling me an authoritarian dictator, a Mahazalim and Mahafiraun, who was undemocratic, and has become super rich through corruption. It is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. – January 17, 2018.

* Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the fourth Malaysian prime minister who held the office from 1981 to 2003.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.

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  • Goh Michael
    Tun, what a candid "confession" of all your misdeeds for all to judge for themselves for a person they labelled "dictator". Since this piece was written by you Tun, they can now judge for themselves who's the dictator now. It should I'm sure change a myriad of perspectives which were misplaced. I've always maintained that if one was innocent of any wrongdoing, one need not apologise. Truth will prevail. Tun, you do not owe the rakyat any explanation for your actions during your tenure as Prime Minister. On hindsight, people will recall and re-evaluate your actions and they will see the wisdom of your actions and see the benefits that came with them. I must admit, I was at one time one of your detractors, but now having read your piece, I find I owe you an apology. Please accept it, ia ikhlas Tun. Mungkin pada masa itu saya terlalu ghairah dan 'misguided' dan terlalu menjadi seorang pengikut buta. Tetapi selepas membaca penulisan Tun saya telah menukar fikiran politik saya dan saya rela mengadai nasib saya dalam PRU14 yang akan datang dengan membuang undi saya untuk menyokond PH supaya negara ini dapat di selamatkan dari penyamun-penyamun yang ada ini. Hidup PH!!

    Posted 3 years ago by GOH MICHAEL · Reply

  • Such a badly written satire.

    Posted 3 years ago by Electro Salvo · Reply

  • God made men, but God never became a dictator of men. Men made God and their God became dictators of men.

    Posted 3 years ago by Wit Ness · Reply