Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Snippets - Pegging, Tun Ghafar, Balik Kampung, Human Memory


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at www.chedet.com on October 7, 2008 5:02 PM

There are far too many comments and questions in my blog that I simply cannot respond to all. But I will try.

Pegging

The Bretton Woods System did not fail because the United States ran out of gold. It failed because Britain decided to devalue the pound. President Richard Nixon decided to go off the gold standard much later.

After that it was a free for all as currency traders fiddled with valueless paper money.

If we have a trading currency, it should be controlled by an international body unbeholden to the US or anyone else. Poor countries must be adequately represented.

Like all systems we need to study the pros and cons before we approve.

If during all these years we could use the US Dollar as a kind of standard, I don't see why we cannot use gold. Gold prices do fluctuate but the range is far less than with paper currency. Besides there will always be a demand for gold so that you will not lose too much if gold depreciates.

Tun Ghafar

I don't remember either Tan Sri Megat Junid or Tun Daim Zainuddin telling me that Tun Ghafar had lost grassroots support. Tun was always popular with the rank and file.

To avoid corruption of the delegates it was agreed that every nomination would get 10 bonus votes.

But Anwar Ibrahim had bought so many of the divisions that Tun Ghafar lost even before actual contest. He decided to resign. Anwar won and replaced Tun Ghafar as Deputy Prime Minister.

Balik Kampung

I am glad the North South Highway has shortened travel time. Despite the express highway carrying more vehicles, there has been far less fatal accidents than on the old roads.

We Malaysians must learn to drive slowly. The Japanese have more cars on their roads but far less fatal accidents. Use the outermost lane for slow driving, the innermost lane for overtaking. The lane in between the two is for speeds slightly higher than in the third lane.

Human Memory

I wrote this piece without explaining the background.

When I was being qestioned by the Royal Commission on the appointment of judges, I had to admit not being able to remember certain events.

The next day Anwar's people displayed a slogan "Mahathir Mudah Lupa". I don't think Anwar can remember the things he had done on a given date years ago either.

Kay Rahman - Bass Strait is between Australia and Tasmania. The same Bass surveyed Langkawi at the beginning of the last century. He named the harbour opposite Kuah in Langkawi "Bass Harbour".

Fishing port in Africa - Maputo in Mozambique or Walvis Bay, Namibia.

The book the "Malay Dilemma" was written partly during my expulsion by UMNO. But it was not to confront Tunku Abdul Rahman. It was to put in print my ideas about how to improve the lot of the Malays. I did not dream at that time that I would be in a position to carry out my ideas.

Despite my nasty letters to Tunku, I still respect and appreciate his services to the country, in particular his leadership in the struggle for independence. That is why I named many places and edifices in his name.

Jeffry Suresh Abdullah. Thank you for your kind words.

Nice to hear from Zyam, the grandson of my friend and colleague in the struggle against the Malayan Union and for independence.

Chekgu Haji Hassan bin Itam of Sekolah Melayu Simpang Empat was among the earliest to join the political struggles of the Malays of Kedah. He was ably supported by his wife, Hajjah Zaleha.

I owe him a great deal because when other adults did not think much of our anti-Malayan Union struggle, Chekgu Hassan Itam gave his full support.