Sometime in 2015, we wrote an article about Dr Mahathir dropping bombshells errwhere in a session we attended during the ‘The Cooler Lumpur Festival: Dangerous Ideas’. And just recently, we found out that Dr Mahathir is back with dropping bombshells again but this time internationally.
Dr Mahathir was invited to give a speech at Oxford Union last Friday. Just in case you dunno, Oxford Union is the world’s most prestigious speaker and debating society. This union has a reputation for bringing international guests and speakers like Morgan Freeman and Malala Yousafzai to Oxford.
In his speech, Dr Mahathir spoke about democracy and discussed various other things during a dialogue session with the President of Oxford Union, Daniel Wilkinson. Here’s what we got from both sessions:
1. “How else would you govern a country except by being a dictator?” (10.10)
Dr Mahathir claimed many people believed that he was a dictator but no, he didn’t admit that he was one in his speech la. He actually said that because he was referring to the previous gomen and power abuse.
Dr Mahathir explained that the elected leaders from the previous gomen might have abused their powers and ruled the country like a dictator so that people will be afraid of them. And although Malaysia is democratic to a certain extent, some people (aka the rakyat) are strongly attached to their leaders… although their leaders were in the wrong. So, this might’ve led to dictatorship and it was probably how the previous gomen managed to govern Malaysia for over 60 years.
“When we have this strong type of obedience towards the leader, then great democracy can actually be sidelined and pushed aside so that a dictatorship would be resulted (formed).” – Dr Mahathir said.
And this is probably why it took a bit of time for the gomen party to admit that it had loss the previous General Election 14 (GE14). Remember that time we stayed up til past midnight just to know who won GE14?? Dr Mahathir said that this was because the Election Committee was influenced not to announce the winners from the opposition but to announce the winners from the gomen party. But why da heck would anyone do that?
In his recent speech, Dr Mahathir explained how there will be winning and losing parties in democracy.
“In democracy, not all parties can win. Somebody must lose if somebody’s going to win. And the losers must accept that they have loss and, therefore, they have to wait until the next election before trying again. But what we see is that when they lose the election, they will accuse the winners of cheating, of fraud, etc.” – Dr Mahathir, from a video by The Star.
2. “The American Bumiputeras do not want the Mexicans to cross their border” (23.10)
During a dialogue session with the President of Oxford Union, Daniel Wilkinson, Dr Mahathir was asked if Bumiputera rights are against the concept of democracy in which he questioned America’s decision to build a wall.
“If you’re talking about Bumiputera (policy), the American Bumiputera do not want the Mexicans to cross their border. Why? They have a right, they can say what they like. They want to go to your country, they should go. But they erect a wall, and now Americans are not being paid their salary.” – Dr Mahathir.
Yea… to the extent that the gomen itself shuts down and the US President, Donald Trump, had to fork out his own money to fund a dinner for members of the college football national champion, Clemson Tigers.
Dr Mahathir added that this is the kind of democracy we see from a country that prides its democratic system before stating that Malaysia isn’t as great as the US. But Dr Mahathir also explained that each countries has its own rights to allow who to enter and be its citizen, hence, the reason to keep bumiputera rights.
“Malaysia was very generous. The bumiputera, the indigenous people accepted people who were brought by the British to Malaysia.. And we gave them citizenship.But that is the right right of the bumiputera to, at least, secure themselves.” – Dr Mahathir on why there is a need for bumiputera rights.
He also stated that Malaysia is more open, in terms of accepting other people into our country, compared to European countries. However, we found out that this statement might contradict Malaysia’s recent ban on Israelis athletes for the upcoming World Para Swimming Championship which will be held in Kuching in July. He had defended this action by stating:
“We have borders which we guard to allow only people whom we like to come to Malaysia. But the people who have done a lot of wrong things and we consider them unfit to visit Malaysia, that is our right.” – Dr Mahathir.
The Jewish students in Oxford actually protested against Dr Mahathir’s invitation to give a speech at Oxford. These students were also concerned about the anti-Semitic views that Dr Mahathir has such as calling Jews ‘hook-nosed’ since the 70s.
Dr Mahathir stated that it is unfair to label him as anti-Semitic and denied accusations that he was targeting the Jewish people instead of the Israeli gomen.
“We talk about freedom of speech and yet you can’t say anything against Israel, against the Jews Why is that so?
That is their rights to hold such opinion of me and it’s my rights to tell them also that they have been doing a lot of wrong thing.” – Dr Mahathir response to Daniel.
Despite talking about freedom of speech during the dialogue session, Dr Mahathir was asked about the freedom of speech we have in Malaysia which involves a certain act and he clarified that…
3. “I was also against the ISA during my time but the enforcers didn’t want the ISA removed…” (6.14)
At this point, some of you might be confused with this statement. This is because baaaack when he was the fourth Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir justified the use of the Inetenal Security Act (ISA) to combat terrorism after the 9/11 incident. This might contradict with whatever he said during the dialogue session. But there’s a reason as to why he said that.
In the dialogue, Dr Mahathir mentioned that the ISA was an act based on the British that was implemented in our country years ago to guard national security.
“I was also against the ISA during my time but the enforcers (the police and others) didn’t want the ISA removed because of certain needs of the country.” – Dr Mahathir.
He also admitted that this act is against the freedom of speech and democracy as it gives power to arrest people without trial. But he was also quick to point out that what he thinks about the ISA isn’t as important as what the rakyat thinks of it. Dr Mahathir also added that the law implemented by the previous gomen was even more severe than ISA and how detaining politicians under ISA is wrong.
Oh, if you don’t remember what happened in the past, several politicians were detained under ISA such as the Primary Industries Minister, Teresa Kok and Defense Minister, Mat Sabu.
But now that Dr Mahathir is with the opposition (and is friends with Anwar Ibrahim anyway), he wants to work together to form the gomen and fix the mistakes made by the previous gomen.
4. “You are welcome to choose Najib, but unfortunately, I think you are not a Malaysian citizen” (27.14)
How can we leave out the most talked about debate between Dr Mahathir and Singaporean student, Darrion Mohan. One of the questions Darrion asked was on Johor Menteri Besar’s visit to a Malaysian vessel in the disputed waters. He quoted Najib Abdul Razak as stating that the current administration seeks to return to the path of confrontational politics and barbed rhetoric. But this is how Dr Mahathir responded:
“You are welcome to choose Najib, but unfortunately, I think you are not a Malaysian citizen. So you have no right. Are you a Malaysian?”
Walaoweh! But that didn’t stop Darrion from asking another question, this time about the Malaysia-Singapore dispute such as the revision of water supply prices, the proposed “crooked” bridge and the Singapore-Kuala Lumpur high-speed rail project. Although some media portrayed Dr Mahathir’s response to this question as ‘schooling’ Darrion, it was reported that Dr Mahathir had focused on the 1962 Water Agreement instead of addressing Darrion’s question.
Aside from that, Dr Mahathir was also asked if he believed that it was right to expel Singapore from Malaysia in 1965.
“Normally, when a country decides to decolonise, the land goes back to the owner of that land, to the country that owns that land, that happened to Hong Kong and Macau and other places.
But in our case, we find that people in Singapore are not compatible with the people in Malaysia. They have a different viewpoint, different ideas about how a country should be ruled, so it is for that reason that they were asked to leave Malaysia, and I think it was a wise decision at that time.” – Dr Mahathir.
5. “The act of forcing countries to become democratic is itself undemocratic” (12.22)
In his speech, we can’t help but to point out that Dr Mahathir mentioned that there are also attempts by fellow democrats to force democracy to other countries aside from trying to abolish other governing systems. He even mentioned that intolerant democrats who want to change a country’s governing system to democracy might go to the extent of invading the country and place a new leader in it. Heck, the democrats are said to have threatened to do something to these countries so that they become democratic! Aiyo, to that extent ah?
“Democracy should not be forced on people, people should make their own choices… The act of forcing countries to become democratic is itself undemocratic.” – Dr Mahathir.
Dr Mahathir stated that this can be seen from the Arab Spring where everybody felt that when the Arab countries became democratic, then the countries would be doing as well as the old democracies and cited Syria as an example. The act of the people of Syria to demand for ‘reforms’ against their President, Bashar al-Assad, had caused turmoil instead of democracy, based on Dr Mahathir, and this is proven through the Syrian Civil War.
He also noted that democracy isn’t easy.
“Democracy is very difficult to work, it’s so complex. So many people have freedom and they can do what they like, say what they like. It is good in the sense that it allows people to choose their own gomen.” – Dr Mahathir in his speech.
The US itself took about 200 years to practice democracy. The reason to this was to allow the people to adjust to the governing system. Dr Mahathir added that democracy was practiced in stages. He said that in England, the early phase, only landlords were allowed to vote, followed by women and other categories.
Dr Mahathir has a history of dropping bombshells in sessions like this
In our previous article on Dr Mahathir’s session in The Cooler Lumpur event, we covered how Dr Mahathir dropped as much as 7 dangerous bombshells in a session! And if you’ve read that article, you might not be surprised with the bombshells he dropped this time around.
We’ve covered almost everything that Dr Mahathir had mentioned in both his speech and dialogue session. But before ugaiz leave, we just wanna hear from you about what we’ve just listed out, either in this poll or the comment section. Thanks!