I have gone through Mahathir’s prime ministership and have seen the massive development of infrastructures that he planned and executed. Whenever I am at KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport), I think of Mahathir, whenever at Petronas KLCC, I think of Mahathir and I thank Mahathir whenever I am travelling on the North-South Highway.
The facilities on this highway are first-class. The toilets are clean and well maintained, better than those at KLIA. I just travelled from KL to Johor Bahru back to KL and up to Alor Star and Penang and back again to KL yesterday. I have nothing but praise for PLUS which manages the highway.
I think about Mahathir, Malaysia’s fourth Prime Minister, when I am surfing the internet and blogging. Gosh, I think of Mahathir most of the time!
So I read his blog today on his response to his successor’s scathing attack on his supposedly spendthriftiness! His sarcasm is brilliant; (reproduced in full below).
When do I think of Abdullah Badawi? Hardly, I must admit, or rather I’d like to just push him to the most distant fringes of the universe of my mind.
To be fair though, there is a couple of things which he mooted that I appreciate like the National Cancer Hospital, a humongous yellow building in Putrajaya, ostensibly in memory of his first wife who died of breast cancer in 2003. Then his late formation of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Council (MACC) just before his stepping down.
On the whole, his tenure was a huge letdown. Instead of curbing corruption, he seemed to have systematised it. He dealt directly with businessmen and contractors, signing off approvals without checking with the executives and when pointed out that certain procedures needed to be adhered to, to ensure transparency and check and balance, he labelled those executives as “LITTLE NAPOLEONs”!
One senior civil servant opined that almost 50% of fund under the then five-year Malaysia Plan’s total allocation could have been wasted due to this kind of unchecked direct dealings and fast prime ministerial approvals. What kind of thriftiness is this?
Yes, he gave the impression that he was the BIG NAPOLEON, good lord! he will never come close to be compared to Napoleon in terms of mental acuteness. His degree in ‘religious studies” makes him think that he could manage and control people “fatwa” style. No wonder he lost big in the 12GE.
The most memorable features of Abdullah Badawi (or Bodohwi), the 5th PM, are his sleeping on the job and his habitual lateness at official functions. When he was supposed to come at 9am, he turned up at 12 noon! He virtually had no respect for other peoples’ time. I had ever missed a flight for an important company meeting in Singapore due to his tardiness.
Another irritating aspect was his long-winded rhetorics, substanceless, uninspiring and delivered sermons like.
His dismantling of his predecessors’ projects appeared vengeful rather than thoughtful and is well described by Tun Mahathir in his blog. It is sad to to see the truncated monorail, still standing as uncompleted structures in Putrajaya. That rail system would have solved the traffic congestion and parking problems in and around the massive government complex.
But this slow witted man would rather give the money to build what he called “towering individuals”. One of the individuals he created was his own brother who was given a 25-year contract to cater food for MAS (Malaysia Airlines) at an exorbitant rate. Another is his son-in-law, that Oxford trained man who never have to “work” in his life. Yet another is his sister- in – law with her hotel business.
“Mr Clean” as he was labelled before he became PM , curbing corruption? I would say “Balderdash, Bodohwi! You truly fooled us”.
This is the kind of leader UMNO (United Malay National Organisation) gets and sadly we Malaysians get, through that flawed system of “NO CONTEST” for its President’s post.
Precisely, Abdullah Badawi is a forgettable glorified politician.