Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, Suaram Adviser, 20 July 2017
It was bad enough when Pakatan Harapan made an alliance with the unrepentant former autocrat, but now that Mahathir has been made the ‘top dog’ of the coalition, it is the biggest betrayal of the Reformasi Movement yet.
Well, now that Mahathir has been made the Chairman of the coalition, Pakatan Harapan will have to answer for all his scandals. PH must be prepared for more than the RM30 billion forex losses incurred during Mahathir’s term.
It is not as if the former Prime Minister had sincerely become a ‘born-again democrat’ by showing a sliver of contrition, but up to now, he has not. He is not sorry for the white terror of Operation Lalang; for the political conspiracy against Anwar Ibrahim and saying on record that the latter is morally unfit to be PM because he is a womaniser and sodomiser; for squandering more than RM100 billion in the financial scandals during his term in office through crony capitalism and bailing out failed businessmen including his son…
The litany of woes inflicted under Mahathir’s rule has been well-documented and every community has its story: The 10,000 indigenous peoples who were forcibly displaced from their ancestral homes in Bakun in order to make way for yet another of Mahathir’s grandiose dam projects at a time when the project had been suspended during the financial crisis in 1998; the Indian plantation workers whose communities were destroyed through Mahathir’s neo-liberal capitalist policies and who were forced to become urban settlers; the needless communal controversies created around mother tongue education during the eighties including the Unified Examination Certificate in 1975, the National Culture Policy, the unqualified school administrators sent to Chinese schools in 1987, and others.
Let us not forget that Mahathir was also the first Prime Minister to claim that Malaysia is an Islamic state and as recently as the 2013 general election, criticised Najib for wasting public money on the Chinese voters after they had voted for the Opposition. He is also the top dog in the new ‘Pribumi’ party which is only open to ‘Pribumis’ no less.
You have to be a “Zombie Democrat” to accept such a party into the coalition that is supposed to embody the Reformasi Movement! Do the PH leaders still remember what their Reformasi programme stands for?