Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to date has not explained why he could not enrich the poor ethnic Malays.
He had absolute authority to achieve this. Why then did he fail the poor Malays?
We need answers – plain, truthful and unblemished answers! Why, Dr Mahathir? Tell us honestly! Did the poor Malays reject your attempts to enrich them?
All that Mahathir had done was to blame the non-Malays – especially the ethnic Chinese – as if they were the cause of Malay poverty. Did the non-Malays prevent you from helping the poor Malays? Did they stand in the way of your efforts, if such were expended?
When Chinese businessmen were controlled and obstacles placed to prevent their easy expansion by including a legislative mandatory requirement for 30% participation of Malays in Chinese holding companies, how could they effectively prevent the poor Malays from advancing in life?
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Compared to your failure in helping the poor Malays, you succeeded extremely well in helping your friends and cronies and the rich Malays to become richer than ever, even beyond their imagination! You had no problems in advancing their wealth. You created Malay millionaires and billionaires so successfully. It was never a problem for you to help the rich!
Why then was it a problem to enrich the poor Malays? What serious efforts did you undertake to help them?
Crony politicians were given huge projects without tenders and with high tariffs, prices or tolls. This was your way of further enriching wealthy Malays. Dr Mahathir, did you ever think of alternative approaches and of what economists call the opportunity costs?
Connected politicians were given opportunities to loot the national coffers.
Failed Malay political businessmen were rescued by taking over their businesses at well above market prices. Tajudin Ramli of MAS and Mirzan, your son, come to mind when we think of how favoured Malay entrepreneurs were saved from bankruptcy.
The Petronas-MISC-KPB deal was a bailout. The MAS bailout was indeed scandalous. The Ministry of Finance paid RM8 per MAS share when the market price was RM3.62 in December 2000.
The elites enjoyed access to the national vault. Anyone with rudimentary access to sociology knows that “elites” and “elitism” were objects of pure scorn in early American sociology. Meanwhile, Malaysian businessmen, most never knowing better, think they have made it when called an elite.
As you can see, so much money was unfairly outlaid to save friends and cronies at the national expense. In contrast, over the years, how much money was outlaid to rescue poor Malays from the clutch of poverty?
Dr Mahathir, it’s sad but true: you are a failed Malay political leader who had apparently failed miserably in helping the poor Malays. How did the poor Malays in Singapore fare? So, please stop proclaiming that only Malay leaders can help the poor Malays. That’s not true. It’s a lot of hogwash. So far, Malay political leaders, if they are at it, have been only good in helping the wealthy Malays.