Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Enter Ultraman Mahathir

Farah Azreen
Wednesday, 16 December 2009 04:58

AT AN age when most senior citizens are slowing down, Dr Mahathir Mohamad often leaves much younger politicians gasping for breath in trying to catch up with his racy and, sometimes, controversial commentaries.

Twenty-two years as prime minister and six years as a retiree have not made him less tired to lambast opponents, question government policies and snub his nose at critics.

So much so, a political commentator has called him the 'Malay Ultraman' - which is also a take from the early days of his political career when Mahathir was known as the 'ultra Malay.'

"Mahathir shows he still wants to interfere in government affairs, proving that Umno and the Barisan Nasional is not free of his dominance.

Mohd Rashid Hasan said while Mahathir is already 84 years old, his politics is like that of a young man.

"Despite his age, Mahathir refuses to stop. He is active as a politician, a blogger and as many other things.

"Lately, he has been more fierce, to even bring up issues of race and Malay supremacy," Rashid wrote in the PAS newspaper, Harakah Daily.

He added Mahathir seems adamant about reviving his 'ultra Malay' role and being the 'Malay Ultraman' to supposedly champion the Malay cause.

Mahathir vs Nazri

Rashidi said the former PM's spat with Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Aziz, is not a new occurence as the two had not been on good terms for a number of years - long before PM Mahathir stepped down in October 2003.

"Whatever differences there are between Nazri and (ex-DPM) Anwar Ibrahim, the two can still sit down over a cup of coffee.

"But between Nazri and Mahathir, they can't face each other...let alone have coffee together," the political observer said.

Rashidi said the pertinent issue that has surfaced from the Mahathir-Nazri quarrel is whether 'ultra' communal, racial and nationalistic sentiments in the country's politics stll relevant in today's political scenario.

Also, he questioned, is Umno truly fighting for the survival of the Malays?

Defence without oppression and injustice

Answering his own questions, Rashidi said not one race would sidestep his own race, whether Malay, Chinese, Indian or any other race, and their leaders would want to champion their cause.

However, he added, no one should intentionally oppress or bring injustice to any race.

He said comments by Mahathir that had seemed racist were probably aimed at Umno leaders, to show that the Malays can no longer rely on the party to defend their cause.

"Take a look at Umno now. Is it still qualified as a champion of the Malays? Is the MCA qualifed to champion the Chinese and the MIC the Indians?

"These three parties, set up to uphold the spirit of nationalism, is no longer accepted and rejected now by the people. - Malaysian Mirror

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