The China Mahathir So Loved

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Mahathir visiting China in 1985 (courtesy of Penerangan Malaysia)

The ‘Ping Pong Diplomacy’ between Malaysia and China that happened in 1971 was a marked departure from the policy on China set by Tunku Abdul Rahman.  While Tunku blamed China for its support for the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM), Tun Abdul Razak saw it necessary to engage China to end its support for the CPM.

When Mahathir took over the premiership in 1981, he placed importance on economic development and not so much foreign policy.  Three years earlier, Deng Xiao Ping had also placed China under a process of economic modernisation.  However, although there was an increase in bilateral economic and trade exchanges with China, the percentage of that compared to the overall trade declined.  In the 10 years since the beginning of formal diplomatic relations, economic and trade exchanges between the two countries was at 3.5 percent of Malaysia’s total trade.  This number fell to just 1.5 percent in 1984 (Stephen Leong, “Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China in the 1980s: Political Vigilance and Economic Pragmatism”, Asian Survey, Vol. 27, No. 10, October 1987, p.1114).

In a speech at Qing Hua University, Beijing in November 1985, an alarmed Mahathir said: “My own country`s bilateral trade with China has in fact declined since 1980 and this is despite the widely held view that China`s modernisation would increase the opportunities for trade and economic links.”

Mahathir saw China as a very important partner that could help the modernisation of Malaysia’s economy so much so that the delegation that he brought with him on that first visit in 1985 was huge. In a speech given during that visit he said:

I have brought with me a large delegation of leading Malaysian entrepreneurs and businessmen. It is my hope that with your cooperation they would be able to fully explore further opportunities for trade and economic cooperation.

Mahathir made six other visits to China between 1993 and 2001, a display of the importance of China in his economic policies.  A year after he began his administration, trade with China stood at USD307 million.  This jumped to USD1.4 billion ten years later.  A year before he stepped down, it was at USD14 billion.

Mahathir led another large trade delegation to China in 1993 and 1994 with China returning the favour towards the end of 1994.  Of China’s communist ideology, Mahathir in his speech during the 2nd Malaysia-China Forum in Beijing in August 1996 said:

China has come in for special attention. For years it had been condemned for being Communist and isolationist, practising a close centrally planned economy. Now it has opened up and has adopted a version of the universally acclaimed market system. Instead of being welcomed to the fold, it is looked upon with fear and suspicion. The World Bank has sounded the alarm by predicting that China will emerge in the 21st Century as the greatest world economic power. And fear of China has mounted.”

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Mahathir’s visit to China (courtesy of Penerangan Malaysia)

Hence, we can see that it has never bothered Mahathir that China is a communist country, and working with China does not turn a country into a communist one.  China was so important to Mahathir that he wanted to see his proposal for a regional consultative group, namely the East Asia Economic Group (EAEG) take flight with US and US-leaning countries accepting China.  This, however, was not to be.  To his dismay, Japan refused as it was closely linked to the USA which had formed APEC; South Korea refused as the EAEC proposed by Mahathir would have placed Japan at the centre of the organisation.

During the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-98, the Chinese Government assumed a highly responsible attitude. It provided assistance to all the affected countries including Malaysia within the framework of the IMF arrangements and through bilateral channels.  The decision of not devaluating the Renminbi, for which China paid a high price, assisted ASEAN countries affected by the crisis to pull through.

During his visit to China in August 1999, Mahathir thanked China in his speech:

China`s concern for the well-being of East Asia in the financial crisis has been most laudable. The regional economies and the global community at large greatly appreciate China`s decision — despite strong pressures — not to devalue the Yuan. Beijing`s cooperation and high sense of responsibility has spared the region of a much worse consequence. Renminbi devaluation would almost certainly result in a new round of currency devaluation by the affected economies.”

The crisis had brought both Malaysia and China closer together, both Mahathir and China promised better cooperation.  In June 1999, Malaysia and China agreed to invest around USD2.5 billion to develop a Trans-Asia Railway from Singapore to Kunming passing, without doubt, through Malaysia.  Mahathir welcomed China to play an active role in the railroad construction.

When Premier Zhu Rongji visited Malaysia in November 1999, an overwhelmed Mahathir said in his speech:

We appreciate the decision of the PRC to participate in the pulp and paper projects in Sabah. I understand that this project is valued at RM4.3 billion is the PRC’s largest investment in the region. We hope as many PRC companies will try to explore the investment opportunities available in Malaysia.”

However, it is so wrong now for China to help Malaysia build the East Coast Rail Link (ECRL).  Every single investment by China in Malaysia is seen as ‘selling away our rights and sovereignty’ but it was not the case back then.

I often wonder if Mahathir is jealous that Najib Razak is doing better, or if he (or his agents) is not getting a slice of the cake?  He seems to be the only one making noise about China’s investments in Malaysia although, at less than three percent of the total FDI, is at the 10th place of the largest Foreign Direct Investments in Malaysia – the largest being Singapore.  Why is China being made the scapegoat?

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Mahathir, Siti Hasmah, and a very young Marina visit the Great Wall of China. We wonder what post Marina held that she tagged along on an official trip and if she had travelled by normal flights herself as Najib’s family did. If not, who foot her bill for her? (courtesy of Penerangan Malaysia)

Which is why DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang has been silent on the issue of Forest City for the longest time – as he can see how it benefits his parliamentary constituency, very much unlike Mahathir whose hatred for Najib surpasses the needs of his political partners and voters.

During a conference on Assessing ASEAN’s Readiness by Country at the Napalai Ballroom, Dusit Thani hotel in Bangkok on 17 September 2013, the nonagenarian said:

We have been trading with China for almost 2,000 years. China was very big, most developed nation in the past, they could have conquered us but they didn’t. They came and lived in Malaysia but they didn’t conquer us. And I don’t want to be in any confrontation with China. China is a good trading nation with 1.4 billion people.

And suddenly after 2,000 years of peaceful co-existence, just because Najib Razak is now the Prime Minister of Malaysia, the China that Mahathir so loved wants to invade us?

That, to me, sounds blatant hypocrisy.

(This posting was first published by The Mole)

Rape Is Rape

A few months back I criticised a Malay TV drama about how a rape victim marries the rapist and implying that it is alright and love between the victim and the rapist would eventually grow.  That is the kind of TV programme that is being forced down the throat of the people nowadays.

No wonder I see dumb people walking everywhere, students barely out of their teens dumping babies.

Then I saw the following:

Shabudin Yahya, the Member of Parliament for Tasek Gelugor was objecting to an amendment to the Child Sexual Offences Bill which was being proposed by DAP’s Teo Nie Cheng who wanted the bill to also include the invalidity of child marriages.

The former Syariah Court judge said that girls between the ages of nine and twelve are physically and spiritually ready for marriage.

He explained further that it is not fair to assume that a rapist would continue being a bad person.

Maybe he repents, or regrets.  Marriage can be an exit clause for this problem. A wife who was raped , if she can marry the rapist she would not go through a bleak future. At least she has someone who can become her husband. This will be a remedy for social problems.”

Both my Facebook and Twitter timelines exploded with people in rage over the MP’s comment and invited a tweet from a liberal.

Then came this person trying to defend the indefensible:

For the benefit of all including the MP and his supporters, the government was being responsible by proposing a bill to protect minors from sexual predators.  Many do not understand that although the consensual age for sex in Malaysia is 16 by birth date and above, those below 18 are legally minors!  The MP’s statement is tantamount to inviting predators to have consensual sex with minors and then “repent” and marry their victim(s).  One cannot get anymore disgusting than that.

If the rapist is irresponsible enough to rape a minor, how can he/she be a responsible husband/wife?

It does not matter if the MP was a Syariah Court judge. He should know that he was in Parliament and every word would be scrutinised.  In times when people doubt the dual-legal system that has been around since the birth of Malaysia, comments from Shabudin certainly adds fuel to the fire of fear against Islam.

Fellow MP and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan expressed his disappointment in a statement posted on his social media accounts:

Rape is rape.  There is no beauty that comes out of rape.  Therefore, Shabudin should apologise in Parliament and in a press conference without making any attempt to defend his stupidity and beg for the Speaker of the House to strike his statement off the Hansard.

I cannot for my life believe that people are still capable of making stupid statements right under the public’s nose.

He Is Human? Right!

Of late, I am often spoilt for choice of political comedians. For example, there are several memes of Ahmad Maslan – the ‘Bingung‘ one was particularly funny. Then we have the riddle – What is a Takoyaki without balls?  The answer to that one is Sotong.

Then you have Marina Mahathir who today claimed that George Soros cares for human rights.


I am sure George Soros is philanthropic as well as humane. Therefore, I would agree to a certain point with Marina that Soros indeed cares for human rights.

In 1997-98, Soros the human rights defender went on a full frontal assault against the Malaysian Ringgit. Even Marina’s father agreed explicitly to this.


What Soros did was to try bring down old Mahathir whom during his premiership incarcerated his opponents without trial. In a Human Rights Watch reported dated some time in 2001, Mahathir was reported to have detained thousands without trial, and at the time of writing there were 105 ISA detainees in the Kamunting Detention Centre.


Soros is a very generous person. Through his Open Society Institute he had given generously to both the colour revolution in Eastern Europe as well as the Arab Springs of North Africa and the Middle East. Since then 65,000 people have been killed in Syria; 435,000 are internally displaced in Libya while 2.5 million have left the country through migration or by becoming refugees; about 2,000 died in Egypt. Soros has also been funding the Opposition and Opposition-friendly organisations such as BERSIH and Malaysiakini (where a director is also a former Soros employee) – perhaps for a Malaysia-spring.

I did not make those figures up the way Rafizi, Tony Pua and Syed Saddiq would. You can see them for yourselves HERE .

Therefore, you must also remember when Soros attacked the Asian financial systems in 1997 and 1998 he also caused the deaths of thousands in Asia – all died in misery after wallowing in mental pain and total despair.


So Marina, Soros is NOT a champion for human rights. He is just interested to see the world spins the way he wants it to – much like your father, only on a global scale. They both have their caprices.

I hope you will find a better joke the next time, Marina. It has been a delightful afternoon. If you can’t find a better joke then just remain as one.

Oh! If only you could now see my face all lit up with impish glee!