Sunday, August 07, 2005

Vintage Mahathir

The man one Western leader labelled, ‘The Loose Cannon’ is at it again. Recently, he was very much in the news, taking up cudgels against his former subordinates in a performance one local daily described as “vintage Mahathir”. This is in spite of his having declared earlier, "I have already made it very clear that when I leave, I leave completely."

I am a big fan of the man. He is brilliant, outspoken and completely fearless - every-ready to take on anyone with his unique brand of sharp, witty, blunt and sometimes crude remarks.

A quick search of CNN and BBC threw up some gems.

On Himself

"I am perhaps the only dictator who has to stand for elections before dictating." – October 1998

On Singapore

“There are many ways to skin a cat”.

"We will supply filtered water to Singapore until doomsday," - February 2003

On Singapore Roads: “In Singapore, there are roads but when shifting into fourth gear, you fall into the sea because it is not big. … The problem of Singapore is like Perlis. In Perlis when you shift into fourth gear, you are already in Thailand. Change direction, and in fourth gear you are in Kedah. So it is like Singapore. It is only 18 miles from Keppel Harbour to the Causeway. Not even time to change into fourth gear. You buy a Ferrari you can't change into fourth gear, there is no use. So we want to give them the opportunity to change into fourth gear on our roads.”

On his love for Singaporeans: “Actually, we know that Singaporeans live in a small country. Every week, tak tahan to live in the small country, an independent country, but small, so they need to breathe and we have a big area in Johor and Malaysia for them to breathe.

Come over, we welcome them and love them. Singapore is very clean, with beautiful buildings, everything is nice. But four million people live on the island, it is not nice. Langkawi is the same size as Singapore, but Langkawi has 70,000, Singapore has four million. So we like them to come.We love you. On Valentine's Day, we love you. Please come. Please come.

I am just jesting. When you meet Singaporeans, tell them: Don't take the Malaysian PM seriously. He likes to talk like that. He doesn't mean it, he has a good heart.”

On Australia

“This country stands out like a sore thumb trying to impose its European values in Asia as if it is the good old days when people can shoot aborigines without caring about human rights.” - December 2002

“Australia has made known to the world that it wants to be the deputy sheriff of this region. It's very difficult to get along with deputy sheriffs.” - October 2003

“At the moment Australia is particularly unsafe for Muslims, because they are likely to have their houses raided. … I've seen pictures of doors being broken, which I don't think is essential.” - November 2002

On Europeans

"They are very clever, brave and have an insatiable curiosity. Unfortunately they are also very greedy and like to take forcibly the territories and rights of other people."

On Jews

“Jews rule the world by proxy”. - Oct 2003

"The reaction of the world shows they (Jews) control the world,"

"Israel is a small country. There are not many Jews in the world,"
"But they are so arrogant that they defy the whole world. Even if the United Nations say no, they go ahead. Why? Because they have the backing of all these people,"

On the Asian financial crisis

"We may suspect that they, the Jews, have an agenda, but we do not want to accuse. And incidentally, we are Muslims, and the Jews are not happy to see the Muslims progress." - October 1997

"All these countries have spent 40 years trying to build up their economy and a moron like (U.S. financier and currency trader George) Soros comes along with a lot of money. Currency trading is unnecessary, unproductive and totally immoral."

"What they wish to see, is that our country experiences misfortunes," – June 2001

"Exploit us, but exploit us fairly." - October 2003

"Like the World Bank and the IMF (International Monetary Fund), the WTO is now being made into yet another instrument to enrich the rich and impoverish the poor,"

On Bush

"It was the biggest lie. If he'd rebuked me I'm quite sure I would have rebuked him also. ….If you can tell a lie about the existence of weapons of mass destruction and go to war because of it, I'm not surprised if he is prepared to lie about what he said to me."

On gay British MPs

"The British people accept homosexual ministers but if they ever come here bringing their boyfriend along, we will throw them out." - November 2001

On Anwar

"You cannot go around sodomising people,"

Latest: From TODAY, 18/8/2005


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