Monday, May 09, 2011

Campaign Against Reading Tun Dr M's Memoir

I have had the opportunity to personally interact with Tun Dr Mahathir several times. In each case, I have been left at least a tad wiser, whether it be when he remarked on it feeling better being buffetted by crowds of people seeking to take photos with him than being ignored with no one even giving him a friendly greeting, or when he mildly rebuffed me for asking his opinion of the best heart treatment for my Ayah, declaring that we should trust the doctors in charge.

His Memoirs I have hence found to be a delight, as it reveals to me the history of our country through his generation's eyes and gives perspective over who he was as a leader as well as why he decided the way he did on some matters when in power. It is essential reading for Malaysian opinion-makers, as it provides a basis for understanding how things came about, for better or worse, which in itself should be understood as we strive to improve matters in the post-Mahathir era.

I am hence appalled to hear recently that there are many who oppose the purchase and reading of Tun Dr M's Memoirs! The reasons given also seemed to be rather childish considering the level of education of persons concerned and indeed the roles they play in Malaysian society. The reasons given include:

  1. "Why would you want to give Mahathir your money by buying his book?" This is by far the most ridiculous reason for not buying Tun's book. If you don't want to buy, just don't buy. Why worry about whether he makes money from the book?

  2. "The book is too expensive!" This is almost as bad as 1. and is used against Malaysians who don't usually buy biographies... or even books!... but would consider buying Mahathir's Memoirs. Let me say that the Memoir is among the cheapest biographies to be found and if the RM100 is still a problem, then SAVE UP or wait for the soft-cover version la.

  3. "Mahathir said this in his book, actually wrong, then he said, actually wrong, then this also he wrote not right... ad nauseum!" I actually saw comments like this in Twitter accounts of young PKR politicos. The problem is, the comments came just a couple of hours after the book was launched! I just replied - wow, you read the whole almost 1000 pages already ka can comment so much? There was silence in reply. They just pretended.

  4. "Mahathir is old news, no longer relevant. Better buy something on Najib or Anwar." The "better buy Najib" line is smart, making the statement seem reasonable and apolitical. I actually find this argument a little narrow-minded in nature. I suppose the same guys would have people stop reading about Prophet Muhammad pbuh, Buddha or Jesus Christ?

The arguments go on, but in the end, this campaign to stop people reading Tun Dr M's Memoirs are by those who either hate him, oppose his ideas, or worse, fear the truth that he may expose, or further expose about the leaders they themselves idolise... which is why PKR politicos and other Anwaristas tend to be the most anti to the reading of Tun's Memoirs.

Which is ironic, as in the end, those who hate Mahathir and believe they are right to do so should be the ones reading the Memoirs so as to gain more ammunition to attack him no? And in the end, the attempt to stop people reading on Mahathir is futile... his Blog is still well visited, and that is current!

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