People need to be preoccupied in order to stay healthy. Just look at people who have retired. Those who continue to be active and work in whatever capacity tend to stay robust in health while those who do nothing or RTM ( rehat tunggu mati or resting while waiting to die) after retirement tend to be sickly.
That is my observation of Tun Mahathir, Malaysia’s longest serving ex- Prime Minister from BN (National Front, a coalition of race-based parties in power for over 55 years). I remember Mahathir was constantly not well during the sleepy Abdullah Badawi’s tenure as Prime Minister. As is well known, Badawi, the ingrate, had sidelined his former boss in all activities, political and non-political.
The old man responded with much venom and even resigned from his beloved party UMNO out of disgust for Badawi’s treatment of him. That very act had caused a rift of sort in UMNO. The 2008 GE12 debacle which saw the loss of two third majority for BN and five states in Peninsular being taken by the opposition sealed the fate of the inapt Badawi.
With Najib at the helm of BN following the “removal” of Badawi, Mahathir returned to UMNO and “political activities” and believe it or not he has been in the pink of health ever since. Amazing don’t you think?
The influence of Mahathir is still strong, say what you like. He still has star power and able to throw punches that badly bruise some opposition politicians. Numerous pejorative remarks have been thrown at him but he could not care less because his commitment is steely, be it to ensure his son’s political ascendency or to fight against forces he deems as destructive to his Malay race or to other possible personal interests.
He must have been quite effective otherwise the likes of Uncle Kit (Lim Kit Siang) and Anwar Ibrahim would not have been rattled and annoyed. At 87 Mahathir is sprightly compared to his contemporary Margaret Thatcher, the ex-British Prime Minister who suffered from dementia and was incapacitated before her death in early April 2013 at the same age.
Bravo Tun! We all would like to know your secret for healthy living (one of them surely is due to Najib giving him the opportunity to be active again in politics something that he loves). I for one have hoped that Mahathir would retire gracefully like Mandela, Margaret Thatcher and GW Bush and become an elderly statesman but I realise that he would be sad and restless and sickly had he stayed inactive politically and discontinue fighting his “war”, remember he once remarked that his “Perjalanan yang belum selesai“? ( unaccomplished journey).
Coming now to the exasperated Anwar Ibrahim who, like the glib character that he is, has called on Mahathir to “just die” instead of campaigning for BN. He is quoted in the news to have uttered the following during a recent political talk on 25 April 2013 in Kampung Abdullah, Segamat Johor:
” Sudah mau mati,dah 83 (sic) tahun. Berapa lama lagi? Kalau dah nak mati, mati sajalah (How long more? If you are going to die, just die).
Such uncouth and toxic public remarks in vile language shows what type of person Anwar Ibrahim is. God forbids if he ever becomes the Prime Minister of Malaysia! His crude utterance is as if he is blaming God for not taking Mahathir’s life. His wrath has transcended the line of decency and may God deal with him accordingly.
I hold Tun in awe for what he has done for Malaysia vis-a-vis physical development computer literacy and digital connectivity though I must admit, I am disappointed with him sometimes when he says things like if Uncle Kit wins in Gelang Patah, the harmonious inter-racial tie in the constituency would be affected. I think Tun should not have said that. It would have been better if he had said something like “For continued progress and stability it is better to vote for BN”. Less acidic and certainly not hurtful or sounding racist.
As for Anwar exercising his rights of freedom of speech by wishing Tun to die, I believe he has stooped too low this time around and his human wrath could well lead to divine retribution.