Thursday, July 26, 2012

ITALIAN HOLIDAY

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on July 26, 2012

1. I have been sailing along the coast of Italy the last few days, staying on the island of Ischia.

2. The Italian coast is rocky but is green with shrubs and dotted with picturesque villas reaching from the beaches right up to the peaks.

3. Invisible from the sea, sturdy narrow tarred roads not only connect all the little coastal and hilltop towns but also all the villas and hotels. The roads make sharp hairpin bends as they ascend the steep hillsides at times projecting out from the cliffs. Italian drivers are as good as F1 drivers, negotiating these bend skilfully, passing the vehicles, including busses coming from the opposite direction with barely any space between them. Throughout several days of being driven along these narrow, sharply curved roads and steep cliffs I did not see a single accident.

4. When meeting an on-coming vehicle on a single-lane road, one would back to a broader part so as to let the other to pass. A wave of the hand and a smiling Italian thank you would greet the driver who had generously given way.

5. There’s a passion for roofless busses and colourful canvas-topped taxis. All the tourists are turned to a ripe brown “sawo matang” colour. Seems that their holidays are just about lying on inflated floating plastic mats and folding chairs in the sun. Nothing is free. The umbrellas, mattresses, folding chairs are all for rent.

6. You may wonder why I am talking about my holiday in financially-troubled Italy. It is that they seem to be able to build on the hillsides without spoiling the beauty or causing landslides. The reason is the rocky nature of the land and absence of torrential rain, although I was pelted with hailstones in one of the villages in Ischia. There are no 50-storey high rises to block the view of those behind.

7. A few of the villas are five storeys high, but they follow the slope of the hill, being stepped back as they rise. They appear to be stuck to the sloping side of the hill rather than standing on cut-ground. The upper storeys look out over the flat roofs of the storeys below. Often potted plants are placed on the roof.

8. Below and above them were the hill roads. In the taxi or bus you see the roofs of the houses below as you pass the frontage of the houses above.

9. Our hills are not rocky. We have a thick layer of topsoil with giant trees firmly anchored by their roots, stabilizing the slopes. The grounds at the base of the trees are covered by thick undergrowth which again grips the topsoil.

10. This coverage of trees, shrubs and undergrowths prevent the rain from hitting the ground directly and softening it. Without this cover the ground would be washed down the slope.

11. Despite all these I still believe we can build on the hillsides provided we avoid high rise structures. One or two storied houses built some distance from each other with the big and medium sized trees left standing would minimise the risk of the soil being eroded.

12. Where necessary concrete mini-piles should be driven into the ground to stabilize it. In Koh Samui in the Gulf of Thailand narrow and steep concrete roads have been built to connect the villas with other parts of the hotel. Only golf-carts are allowed on these connecting roads.

13. Extensive planting of shrubs cover the ground completely supplementing the natural undergrowth. Although the ground in Koh Samui is as soft as the ground in Malaysia, the villas of the hotel built on the slopes appear quite stable and sturdy, each with its own swimming pool.

14. Langkawi would benefit from carefully planned hillside development. Currently we get some 2.5 million tourists visiting Langkawi. We can handle more. But the developers must be a bit more imaginative and not try to maximise return for the land.

15. Tourism is the fastest way to grow the economy. The people in Langkawi are better off than those in mainland Kedah. When I served there as Medical Officer in 1956 their houses were of timber, bamboo, attap and even the bark of trees. Today they live in modern brick and mortar houses, with electricity, hot and cold running water and WC system. Langkawians have come a long way.

16. There are foreigners who retire to live in Langkawi. Retired Malaysians should do likewise and enjoy the tax-free status of the Islands, while enriching the island and the nation. They should build villas on the hillsides and Government should build two-lane roads like those in Italy. The development should enhance the beauty of these legendary islands.

17. Langkawi should become the second home not only of foreigners but also of Malaysians.

Monday, July 23, 2012

TIN CARTEL

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on July 23, 2012

1. I was surprised to be asked by a friendly Malaysian interviewer about Malaysia’s tin cartel operations. I thought I had already explained in my memoirs about the tin trading which we carried out soon after I became Prime Minister. I can understand the opposition describing what we did as a cartel. But apparently many Malaysians swallowed the accusations by the Western media that we had cornered the tin market.

2. I don’t know whether people understand what a cartel is. The dictionary defines cartel as an association of competing firms formed to fix price.

3. The Malaysian Government was never a member of any association with anyone to fix tin price. All we did was to appoint a Swiss firm Mark Rich to do the trading for us.

4. What was happening was that some shadowy tin traders were selling tin repeatedly in the London Metal Exchange in order to depress tin prices. They had no tin but as with short-selling shares, the tin they sold was not in their possession. In short-selling, the idea is to sell and sell so as to depress the price. When the price has gone down, the seller then buys the tin to deliver to buyers who had earlier bought at a higher price.

5. Tin in the early 80’s was one of our main exports. We had not yet built up our exports of manufactured goods. Therefore the depressed tin price was hurting our economy.

6. As a big exporter of tin we knew the amount of tin being traded in the market was far bigger than physical tin. Due to the low prices we had a big stock of tin.

7. It is common practice to buy any commodity including currency in order to support price.

8. And so we bought the tin in the market to support the price. We also knew that the sellers would need physical tin to deliver when they have to fulfill their contracts. And when that time comes they would have to buy the tin from us.

9. Sure enough the time came for the sellers to deliver the tin which they had sold at low prices. The tin they sold far exceeded the amount they could be holding. Then they would come to us. We could then name the price.

10. The sellers and buyers had entered into legal contracts. The sellers must deliver if they don’t want to breach the contracts.

11. But when the time came for the sellers to deliver and they did not have the tin to fulfill their contracts, we were sure they would offer to buy the physical tin we had in our stock. We stood to make a good profit as the tin price in the market would go up. This would help us regain our earnings which we lost through the low prices caused by the short–selling operations of the market players.

12. But the London Metal Exchange ruled that the sellers need not deliver. Naturally we lost a lot of money as the tin which we had contracted to buy was not delivered to us. And the tin price remained low as we were carrying a lot of stock which we could not sell.

13. The London Metal Exchange justified their ruling by saying we had formed a cartel to fix the price of tin.

14. There was no hearing of our side of the story. And certainly there was no proof of any association or cartel formed by us. The high and mighty London Metal Exchange simply ruled that the tin need not be delivered. They saved the unprincipled market short-sellers who had expected to make tonnes of money from selling tin they did not have.

15. I was annoyed. The episode influenced my decision to buy British last and not to give contracts to British firms.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

DIKTATOR

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on July 18, 2012

1. Gelaran, seperti label untuk barangan berjenama, sukar untuk dikikis. Berasas atau tidak, gelaran kekal sepanjang hayat. Oleh itu gelaran amat berguna dalam politik, terutama gelaran yang memburuk musuh. Buatlah apa pun, musuh pihak yang bergelar tidak akan hentikan mengguna gelaran.

2. Sebagai Perdana Menteri dahulu saya diberi banyak gelaran. Mahazalim, Firaun, diktator adalah antara gelaran yang dicipta oleh musuh politik saya.

3. Apabila saya ditemuramah sekarang, walaupun oleh orang yang tidak bermusuh dengan saya, soalan-soalan mereka ternampak yang mereka agak percaya bahawa gelaran terutama gelaran diktator yang diberi kepada saya adalah tepat dan berasas kepada kepercayaan bahawa saya adalah seorang diktator.

4. Apakah yang saya lakukan yang menyamakan sifat dan perbuatan seorang diktator.

5. Sekarang kita sedang melihat kejatuhan beberapa ketua negara yang dicap sebagai diktator. Hosni Mubarak umpamanya dituduh membunuh beribu ahli Muslim brotherhood. Dia juga dikatakan telah mengumpul harta kekayaan bernilai 70 billion dolar Amerika.

6. Semasa saya berada di Kaherah di zaman Mubarak untuk bermesyuarat, apabila Presiden Mubarak bermotor dari istananya ke tempat persidangan, jalan yang dilalui olehnya dikosongkan dan askar bersenjata lengkap berderet sepanjang jalan. Di atas bumbung bangunan terdapat askar ‘sharp-shooter’ yang bersenjata untuk menembak sesiapa yang disyaki cuba menyerang rombongan Presiden.

7. Istana Presiden dikelilingi tembok tinggi dan askar bersenjata berada di sekililing sepanjang masa.

8. Musuh Mubarak tidak dibenar berpolitik, sering ditangkap, dikurung tanpa dibicara dan dihilangkan.

9. Selama 30 tahun Mubarak menjadi Presiden, pemilihan bagi jawatan ini tidak pernah ditandingi oleh orang lain. 99% daripada undi didapati oleh Mubarak.

10. Tidak ada kebebasan bersuara atau akhbar bebas. Tidak ada pilihanraya untuk ahli dewan. Siapa sahaja boleh dilantik oleh Mubarak untuk menjadi menteri. Mereka juga boleh dibuang bila-bila sahaja.

11. Ada lagi diktator yang dikenali umum. Hitler mendirikan pemerintahan kuku besi Nazi di Jerman. Enam juta Yahudi dibunuh dalam kamar gas. Yang tidak dibunuh, disiksa sehingga ramai yang mati.

12. Benito Mussolini, Ferdinand Marcos, Presiden Rumania Nicolae Ceau┼čescu yang dibunuh, dan ramai lagi yang dicap sebagai diktator. Demikian juga Gadaffi dan Saddam Hussein.

13. Saya ingin tahu daripada pelawat ke blog saya tentang apakah yang saya telah lakukan semasa saya menjadi Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang menjadi bukti bahawa saya adalah seorang diktator.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

UNITED STATES CLEARS MALAYSIA

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on July 15, 2012

1. I am sorry to write again on the wrong things the United States is doing. It will hurt the supporters and apologists of the United States and United States’ Presidents. They will say I was worse when I was Prime Minister. That’s OK.

2. This time I read in the papers that the United States clears more from sanctions (including Malaysia). The reason for this considerateness is because these countries have cut back on oil from Iran.

3. The apologists for the United States will say that the United States have every right to apply sanctions against any country.

4. Correct.

5. But the United States has no right to force other countries to apply sanctions. Only the United Nations has. However, by threatening to penalise foreign financial institutions over transaction with Iran (in fact all transaction by the recalcitrant foreign banks), the United States has forced the countries targeted to stop business with Iran.

6. The United States has exempted Europe, China and India simply because these are friends or they are too big to force submission to United States foreign policies.

7. When the colonies of Western nations gained independence, they naively thought they would be free. But now we know that they are not free at all.

8. The West and the former colonial masters have not given up on their imperial dream. They still wish to dominate the world. With their economic clout and military threats they are doing this.

Monday, July 9, 2012

THE FEARS OF KIT SIANG

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on July 09, 2012

1. I wonder why Lim Kit Siang is so afraid of me. His latest fear is about what he calls “Mahathirism”. I don’t know what is Mahathirism but obviously it conjures in the mind of Kit Siang something fearful. So he has declared his intention to fight Mahathirism.

2. Actually Mahathirism died when Dato Seri (Tun) Abdullah took over from me in 2003. He changed UMNO, the BN and the Government so much that they no longer resemble the institutions I used to know. I had to resign from UMNO.

3. Najib is more friendly but he is not that close to me. He has his own team of advisors. His policies are his own. So why fear Mahathirism. It is dead and gone.

4. Yes, I am active in campaigning for UMNO and the BN. That is because it is payback time. I became Prime Minister because UMNO and BN backed me; and backed me strongly. I owe a debt of gratitude to them. And that gratitude can only be manifested through helping UMNO and BN to be accepted by the people and to win.

5. Of course in backing UMNO and the BN coalition I would be helping my son Mukhriz as well. But why shouldn’t I. I am not the Prime Minister now and certainly I am not in the UMNO Supreme Council or the Barisan Nasional Representative Council.

6. When I was Prime Minister I did not allow my children to play a prominent role in UMNO politics. Certainly they were not allowed to become candidates in any election even though in 2003, when I was about to step down, Tun Khalil Yaacob, as Secretary of UMNO tried to persuade me to allow my son to take over the leadership of Kubang Pasu UMNO. Had I allowed it, he would most likely take my place as member of parliament for my old constituency.

7. My son Mukhriz now has to contest in another constituency led by someone else as division leader. He is not even a division head.

8. If Najib chooses him as a candidate I will campaign for him as I would campaign for other UMNO/BN candidates. After all Kit Siang promoted his son Guan Eng all the way to become Chief Minister of Penang when he was the powerful secretary of the DAP.

9. I don’t care whether he destroys Mahathirism or not. It is an exercise in futility as Mahathirism is a figment of his imagination. He should not be afraid of this toothless tiger figuratively speaking.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

ASABIAH

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on July 06, 2012

1. Kita hairan bagaimana ada orang Islam yang begitu sekali menyanjung tinggi pemimpin mereka sehingga sanggup minum air basuh kaki mereka ini. Tetapi inilah yang berlaku apabila terlalu taksub kepada pemimpin.

2. Saya diberitahu tidak ada kemungkinan Barisan Nasional menang di Kelantan kerana penduduk Kelantan begitu taksub dengan Nik Aziz. Demikianlah ketaksuban ini sehingga apa sahaja yang didakwa olehnya berkenaan agama Islam maka orang Kelantan akan menerimanya bulat-bulat sebagai benar dan menepati ajaran Islam.

3. Kata orang ini, tidak ada gunanya ulama lain atau Mufti menolak dan menidakkan dakwaan Nik Aziz, orang Kelantan tetap akan percaya pendapatnya juga. Jika ada yang ragu sekalipun, mereka tidak akan menyatakan keraguan mereka.

4. Orang Islam yang berfikiran waras tentu menolak dakwaan Nik Aziz bahawa mengundi PAS akan mendapat pahala, bahkan menjamin syurga di akhirat. Tetapi nampaknya majoriti rakyat Kelantan, samada mereka terima dakwaan ini atau tidak, terus setia dan menyokong kepimpinan Nik Aziz. Kemenangan PAS di Kelantan dan di lain-lain tempat membuktikan kepimpinan Nik Aziz tidak terjejas walaupun jelas menyalah guna agama untuk politik duniawi.

5. Demikian jugalah dengan lain-lain kenyataan dan sikap yang lari jauh dari ajaran Islam saperti menidakkan keIslaman orang yang tidak menyertai atau menyokong PAS.

6. Dahulu kerjasama antara UMNO dengan orang bukan Islam didakwa bertentangan dengan ajaran Islam. Sekarang PAS di bawah kepimpinan Nik Aziz bukan setakat bekerjasama dengan orang bukan Islam tetapi juga sanggup bekerjasama dengan orang yang menolak dengan keras dan secara terbuka hasrat PAS untuk mendirikan Negara Islam dan melaksana hukum hudud.

7. Saya masih ingat semasa kita bangunkan Putrajaya, Nik Aziz mendakwa apabila PAS memerintah Negara ini, Kerajaan PAS akan lelong Putrajaya. Hari ini lain pula bunyinya. PAS berjuang untuk ke Putrajaya sebagai pemerintah.

8. Dalam masyarakat Islam penyelewengan kerap berlaku kerana ajaran sesat yang disampaikan oleh ulama yang tidak bertanggungjawab. Adanya Qadiani dan puak-puak tertentu yang lain ialah kerana taksub kepada pemimpin agama. Kita lihat bagaimana kuatnya pegangan pengikut Ashaari dan Ayah Pin kepada ajaran mereka.

9. Di India, British menggalakan penubuhan dan perkembangan Qadiani kerana ia akan memecah-belah orang Islam dan melemah mereka. Kita syak yang pendaftaran dengan pantasnya Parti Islam Se Malaya oleh British juga mempunyai niat yang sama. Ia berlaku diwaktu orang Melayu buat kali pertama bersatu untuk menentang British. Bahawa PAS, dalam Pilihanraya 1955 menentang kemerdekaan Malaya memanglah menepati hasrat British. Tetapi perjuangan PAS untuk melambatkan kemerdekaan gagal.

10. Dalam Pilihanraya 1955 PMIP hanya menang satu kerusi. Selepas itu PMIP bersungguh-sungguh mengguna agama sehingga dalam Pilihanraya Umum 1959 Kelantan dan Terengganu jatuh ke tangannya. Walaupun Kerajaan PAS Terengganu runtuh dan diganti dengan Perikatan tetapi ini tidak kurangkan ketaksuban kepada PAS.

11. Berpecah dan lemahnya umat Islam ialah kerana taksub kepada kepimpinan lebih dari ajaran Islam seperti yang terdapat dalam Al Quran.

12. Keadaan orang Islam dan agama Islam di Malaysia begitu juga. sesungguhnyalah segala keburukan datangnya dari orang Islam sendiri.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

SYRIA

As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on July 02, 2012

1. I have been watching Al Jazeera T.V report on Syria entitled the War Within.

2. I feel extremely sad and depressed. There is a war in Syria and Syrians are killing Syrians in the most terrible way.

3. If the reports are to be believed the Government of Syria headed by Bashar Asaad is killing Syrians in order to remain in power.

4. On T.V. you hear the scream of shells and then the sight and sound of explosions. It is to be assumed that the shells are being fired by Government forces and the explosion is in the places where innocent Syrians live. Who was firing the guns and rockets is not shown.

5. Then there are pictures of bloodied dead bodies of children and adults. Then there are funerals. One must assume that these are the victims of Government attacks.

6. A T.V station was bombed and seven people died. We are told that this is a pro-Bashar T.V. and the bombers are from those opposed to Bashar.

7. But we are also told that it is possible the Government forces bombed this pro-Government T.V. together with its supporters so as to blame the opposition. Who are we to believe?

8. What is obvious is that the rebels are well-armed. They are getting the arms from somewhere. The people who supplied or sold them arms must be keen to see Bashar overthrown.

9. Who are they?

10. I think Israel and its allies would like to see Bashar overthrown. Is it unthinkable that Israel and allies are behind the rebels? After all Israel is still occupying Golan Heights.

11. If the Syrian Government must disarm, shouldn’t the rebels also disarm? Reminds me of the NATO approach to solving genocide or ethnic cleansing by Serbs in Bosnia. Don’t give arms to the Bosnians. That way less people would be killed. Only Bosniacs (Muslims) would be killed. That is okay. Why add Serb deaths to the numbers killed.

12. I have no doubt that should Bashar be defeated, they would kill him (in the heat of battle) of course.

13. So what do we do? The United Nations should disarm both sides and have a general election conducted and supervised by neutral parties.

14. Let Syrians solve their problem. No outside interference from the West or the East.

15. No revenge killings after the settlement.

Followers