The Wasted Years or the Mahathir Era
Kuala Lumpur: I was finishing the second instalment of the three-part “Political Expediency and the 90 Per Cent Rule” when current events overtaken the whole process.
Tun Mahathir had quit Umno and laid a gauntlet against his chosen successor, Pak Lah. Since we might see new development in the next few days, it is simply impossible for me to ignore current events even if readers might choose to criticise Malaysian Defence for what to some may seemed just another attack on the Old Man for criticising Pak Lah.
I am not defending Pak Lah, but the fact that I had started on these theme before and it was part of the current post, the issue remained kosher as does any criticism against Pak Lah.
As part of my usual routine, I will leave the politics and economics to other commentators and will concentrate on what else but Malaysian Defence.
For Malaysian Defence, Tun Mahathir is incomparable especially when it comes to theatrics. Pak Lah may not be the world’s greatest premier but compared to his maker, he had make less mistakes. Granted that Pak Lah is still new to the job but Tun Mahathir is incomparable when it comes to doing things in detriment to the nation’s interest. And his reign was worst thing that had happened to the country.
For starters, twenty-six years after his reign, we are still reaping the bad seeds that were sown during his years. How else can you explain why Malaysia continue to rely on assets and strategies formulated in the late 70s as its main bulwark of defence despite billions spent on the sector during his reign?
An army which is set to field the M4 as its assault rifle, much like in the early 80s when it begun fielding the M16A1 rifles replacing the HK33s, Beretta AR70s and the SLRs. The same army that continued to rely on the 200-odd Oto-Melara 105mm pack howitzers for fire support, and an almost obsolete fleet of Condors and Sibmas APCs as its main manoeuvre force.
An air force flying 40-year old Sea Kings, patched up through a bevy of poorly-funded upgrades and a navy, so short of patrol vessels that its best assets, four of the most modern minesweepers – when procured – are pressed for routine sea patrols.
If only he did build one patrol vessel a year during his reign, even a small one, our borders would be much secure today than 26 years ago before the torrent of immigrants started.
What about the 29s, 18s and Sukhois you might ask, doesn’t that count? Of course not, not for the absurd amount of money we pay for them.
How much money did we pour down the drain?. My best estimates that it easily exceeds US$30 billion, mostly for the benefits of cronies and not the long serving warriors.
And what is more distressing, all of the bad things developed and perfected during the Mahathir years continue to be practiced to this day as shown during the recent DSA.
That is why Malaysian Defence is convinced that Mahathirism was the worst thing that had happened to this country, bar none.
–Malaysian DefenceIf you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment