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Mahathir, the peddler of lies

By P. Ramakrishnan

Mahathir painted Anwar Ibrahim, the Prime Minister, “as an oppressor – one that is worse than the British colonials.”

Mahathir has come out with some startling statements without batting an eyelid. That is typical of him!

But these are nothing but blatant and unvarnished lies – and Mahathir is a master at this!

What he recently said and claimed left many flabbergasted and in shock.

He painted Anwar Ibrahim, the Prime Minister, “as an oppressor – one that is worse than the British colonials.”

“During the British era, we can speak out, form parties, and fight for the Malays.

“During my time Malays could speak out too, but in Anwar’s ‘democratic’ era, Malays can’t speak up,” was Mahathir’s outlandish and outrageous claim.

When Mahathir asserted “…in Anwar’s ‘democratic’ era, Malays can’t speak up,” wasn’t Mahathir speaking up as a Malay?  Or has he gone back to his roots in order to speak boldly? Has there been any consequence for Mahathir when spewing his lies?

He refers to Anwar’s ‘era’. What is an era? It is ‘a long and distinct period of history’. But Anwar has been in office for hardly four months and Mahathir refers to that as an era! Can these four months be referred to as an ‘era’? Is there any substance in Mahathir’s reference?

Anwar has declared an unrelenting war against corruption. People without a clean past, have reason to fear. For them each day Anwar continues to be in office is a long period of time! And they feel threatened! They feel entrapped!

The atrocities the British committed in Malaya cannot be compared or equated to Anwar’s time in office. The British had all the time at their disposal to do whatever they wanted – and they did a lot to oppress, to rob the country of its wealth, to live as they pleased and lord over us.

They discriminated against us even after our Independence. Certain clubs were barred for Asians. It is common to have “Whites only” clubs and space – even certain urinals were exclusively for whites only!

We must ask Mahathir, “Did Anwar out-do them in all this in less than four months?”

During the British era, there was the infamous Batang Kali massacre of innocent people. Did Anwar massacre anyone within these four months?

Mahathir boasts vainly, “During my time Malays could speak out too …” But Tun, do you remember what happened to them who did on 27 October 1987? You locked them up without any charge and robbed them of their freedom. A total of 106 of them!

Let me refresh your memory, Tun. Some ladies who were locked up on that day of infamy had their period while in detention but they were not provided with sanitary pads. How callous and cruel could one be!

Tun, do you remember your Inspector General of Police, Rahim Noor’s cowardly assault on a blind-folded Anwar with his hands tied behind him? Anwar appeared with a black eye in court on September 29, 1998, to face charges of corruption and sodomy.

You and Rahim Noor explained that Anwar’s black eye was “self-inflicted” by “pressing a glass over his eyes.” It took a Royal Commission of Inquiry to expose that both of you had lied! How shameful it was that the PM and the IGP were exposed as liars!

Tun, did anyone get beaten up in lock-up during Anwar’s term in office? Was any adversary of Anwar detained for speaking up? Name them, if it is true! You can’t because nothing of that sort took place under Anwar’s watch.

Tun, do you recall how thousands of Reformasi protesters were brutally treated by the police with water cannons and baton charges? In contrast, were any protesters assaulted cruelly during Anwar’s term in office?

Tun, you have lost your credibility and your followers. We understand your desperate situation and your helpless position. But that should be no excuse to resort to blatant lies – unless you are a compulsive and pathological liar!

21 March 2023 First published in Aliran.

(The views expressed are those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the views of Rebuilding Malaysia.)

P Ramakrishnan is the long-serving former president of Aliran who served three and a half decades on its executive committee, has been with Aliran since its inception in 1977. Now an ordinary Aliran member, he continues to highlight issues of public interest to a larger audience.

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