Monday, April 20, 2015

THE CROOKED BRIDGE AND ME


As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on April 20, 2015

1. Some people believe that I am so angry over not building the crooked bridge that I want Najib to resign.

2. I am not so frivolous. Yes, I am disappointed, especially as Najib appealed to the Singapore PM to build a bridge and the latter rejected it. It is shameful that we dare not build a bridge in our own land without approval by Singapore.

3. This shameful episode is not enough for me to ask Najib to step down. Najib is the son of Tun Razak, the man responsible for my elevation to Prime Ministership. Partly for that reason and partly because Najib showed good performance when I was PM, I wanted Najib to be PM. And people know I worked hard at it pressuring Abdullah to appoint him as DPM, so that he would become PM, when Abdullah leaves.

4. But Najib failed in many areas after becoming PM. Apart from the bridge he did not go ahead with the double tracking and electrification of the railway line from J.B. to Padang Besar which had been agreed upon but was dropped by Abdullah. For 14 billion Ringgit we would have this project completed by 2010. Instead, forced by the demand, he sanctioned the continuation of the track from Ipoh to Padang Besar for 12 billion Ringgit. We lost a lot of money.

5. Then he began to recruit his own 4th floor boys plus a number of British personnel to advise him on how to run the country. They, also used foreign consultants costing more than 7 billion ringgit. We had achieved independence in 1957 and we got rid of British advisers. We did better without them. Najib did not seem to believe in the Malaysian capacity to develop the country.

6. Ignoring the EPU and other Government departments he set up a new agency to plan the development of the country. This agency was headed by a non-civil servant and the salaries of these personnel far exceed that paid to civil servants.

7. The civil servants were very unhappy. In the past they on their own transformed this country from a developing country to a middle-income nation. Now their services, their expertise and experience are no longer needed.

8. They had always been loyal to the BN Government. Now many no longer support the Government. Some even join the opposition after retirement and stood as candidates in elections.

9. As a result of the role given to this new agency the policies of the Government were changed. Najib was told that the rejection of Abdullah in 2008 was due to Chinese dislike for the New Economic Policy. To win them back Najib must ignore affirmative action and should be seen to be more supportive of the Chinese and Indians.

10. He reduced places for bumis in the Government Universities even though in the numerous private universities and twinned colleges, bumis make up less than 10%. Bumiputra contactors and small business no longer had government favour. Most had to stop their businesses.

11. Without saying so in so many words he had adopted the Malaysian Malaysia slogan of the opposition, only calling it One Malaysia instead.

12. Responding to opposition demand he abolished the ISA and freed all those under restricted residence. Crime rates went up.

13. Then he started giving money to people, not just to individuals who earn less than RM3000/- per month but to the associations and the corporate sector as well. Billions were spent on this.

14. Then rallies were organised on every occasions. The organisers were instructed to gather 10,000 people. They were given food and allowances and were transported to the sites, where they were given placards to hold up with “I love PM” written on them. A song 1M4U was composed and sung even at the national day parade.

15. Despite all these the Chinese refused to support Najib. They flocked to the opposition and he performed worse than Abdullah in the 13th General Election.

16. The Malays too did not support Najib. Selangor after he headed UMNO did worse than 2008. Malays only voted for BN because they feared Anwar would appoint Kit Siang as DPM.

17. Through all these I continued to support Najib. On the few occasions I met him, I told him his strategy was wrong but my views were ignored. I said before the 2013 elections that if he did worse than Abdullah he should resign. I had fully expected him to do better than Abdullah.

18. When he failed I told people that they should continue to support him. I was prepared, despite everything to see him lead the BN in the 14th GE.

19. But now with the controversies dogging him I am sure BN would lose if he leads it in the 14th GE.

20. There are many things about his personal behavior that I thought were not right. But I was prepared to overlook them, including he and his wife’s lavish lifestyle.

21. But when he cannot explain where billions of Ringgits have gone to and his involvement with questionable people in the management of 1MDB, I felt that he is not fit to be the Prime Minister of this country.

22. I will explain about how he lost billions of Ringgit in my next blog.