1. One way of demonising an opponent, particularly a political opponent, is to give him a derogatory label.
2. At one time Lee Kuan Yew labeled me as a Malay ultra. After that caught on, I could do nothing that would not be labeled as extreme. Even if I make the most innocent statement, it would be considered as extreme, as racist.
3. It took me decades to live it down. When I was appointed Deputy Prime Minister there was consternation among the Chinese. What was
4. However, by the time I stepped down I had managed to belie that description. In the 1999 Election it was Chinese votes which helped give me the 2/3 majority in Parliament.
5. Now the doomsday label is Mahathirism. Such was the fear of this thing called Mahathirism that Tan Sri Muhyiddin had to assure the public that Najib's ascendancy to the Premiership would not bring back Mahathirism. The foreign press seem to imply authoritarian Government with Mahathirism.
6. No one has yet described the rule of Dato Seri Abdullah Badawi as Badawism. It must be because he is said to be liberal and free from authoritarianism. But is he?
7. It appears to be simply because the mainstream media, print or electronic, is totally controlled by him through his hatchet man, Kalimullah. And Kali ensures that the media plays up Abdullah's supposed liberalism, his transparency, his tolerance of the press etc. That the media blacks out any news that is not flattering of him is not noticed by readers, especially the foreign press.
8. Until the bloggers came into the picture and their blogs became extremely popular as they reported the truth, the black-out was effective. Now Kali's media reports some of the news and views appearing on the blogs.
9. But still the general public is not aware of the kind of authoritarianism of Abdullah. Ministers and civil servants critical of him have been removed. Many are in cold storage. Tan Sri Sanusi Junid who was President of the International Islamic University was one of those removed. No one has been appointed to his vacant place yet.
10. A whole bunch of journalists working with the UMNO owned paper had to resign, to be replaced by Kali's nominees from Singapore.
11. But Kali has friends amongst the foreign journalists. So we do not hear of Badawism. But privately people have given all kinds of uncomplimentary labels to the 5 years of misrule by the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia.
12. By now people can draw their own conclusions as to whether Mahathirism in whatever form has returned.