By Koon Yew Yin
Many people have asked me what Tun Dr Mahathir (TDM) is trying to do when he is already 92 years old. He could have retired and enjoyed the rest of his life. As I know him quite well, I know he is trying to achieve his ultimate aim in life.
All Malaysians must know without Tun Dr Mahathir, Pakatan Harapan could not have won the GE14 and the right to form the new government. Since then he has been very busy placing the right people to clean up the mess left behind by the previous BN Government during its 61 years rule.
After having lived for 92 years, like most older people, he has all the necessary experience to govern Malaysia. He was Prime Minister for 22 years before and during his tenure, he also created some of the mess caused by his Bumiputera policy. The idea was good to make Malays as rich if not richer than the Chinese. But the implementation was bad. Based on this Bumiputera policy, many mega projects and concessions were awarded without open competitive tenders. Even Members of Parliament were not allowed to question in Parliament. As a result, the contract prices were inflated to bribe the officials who had the power to award contracts.
In 1970 when the Bumiputera policy was introduced our GDP per capita was the same as that of Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea. Now after 48 years, Singapore, Taiwan and South Korea are 4 times, 3 times and 2.5 times of ours respectively.
As soon as TDM became the new Prime Minister, I saw a video interview that he admitted his past mistakes during his tenure as the PM before and he would put things right again.
In spite of the fact that he had jailed Lim Guan Eng twice before, he appointed YB Lim Guan Eng as the Finance Minister. Guan Eng was the former Chief Minister of Penang and he has an excellent track record in cleaning up the mess created by the previous government of Penang.
TDM knows the importance of money. In spite of the fact that most of the Malays wanted a Malay to be the Finance Minister. You must remember the first Finance Minister was a Chinese Tun Sir Henry Lee Hau Shik who served soon after Merdeka in 1957 and the second Finance Minister was also a Chinese Tan Siew Sin. Both of these Chinese Finance Ministers were appointed by our first PM Tunku Abdul Rahman.
TDM recently appointed PKR Datuk Seri Azmin Ali as the Minister of Economic Affairs to assist YB Lim Guan Eng, the Finance Minister. Azmin also has an excellent track record as Selangor Menteri Besar.
Azmin will oversee Malaysia’s biggest companies, including state oil giant Petronas, sovereign wealth fund Khazanah and savings manager Perbadanan Nasional Bhd, which are collectively worth more than RM one trillion.
TDM said that he would appoint ministers after consultation with all the coalition parties to fill up all the ministries by next week. I am confident that he would choose the best persons irrespective of race or religion. For example, he appointed Tommy Thomas, an Indian Christian, as the new Attorney General which is one of the most important officials in the country.
About 6 months ago when TDM was campaigning in Padang Rengas, Perak, I gave him a copy of my book, Malaysia: Road Map to Vision 2020 and I reminded him of his Vision 2020 which he declared during his tenure as the Prime Minister. I believe TDM’s ultimate aim is to make Malaysia a fully developed nation.