Friends: A book I helped put together about the Mahathir-Abdullah conflict has recently been launched!! :D
It appears timely, as Tun appears to have gone back on the warpath a bit. We’ll follow the developments closely.
The book is a compilation of articles that try to cut through the sandiwara (playacting) of the vicious war of words, and see what really drove TDM to launch such a merciless attack on his handpicked successor, as well as analyze the factors influencing each turn this scandal-ridden battle took. It also includes letters from Malaysiakini readers – representing a truly wide spectrum of opinion, critical thought, and passionate support for both parties.
The book features a number of high-profile contributors, including Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng, P. Gunasegaram, Tian Chua, Collin Abraham, M Bakri Musa, Steven Gan, P Ramasamy, James Wong, Kim Quek, Charles Hector, Khoo Kay Peng, and many more. The full table of contents is reproduced below :)
Note to Malaysiakini letter writers: do check out the tables below to see if your letter made it to the book!! :)
Also just wanted to say a big thank you to all the contributors! Special thanks too to those who have helped highlight the book since its launch – in the blogosphere (which I’ll continue to update), this includes contributors James Wong, Khoo Kay Peng, and Tian (thanks for the overly kind words wei, paiseh! :) and the ever-lovely politikus!
To be perfectly up front, I get a small cut from the sales, so your support is undoubtedly appreciated :) The book can be purchased online through Kinibooks or at most major bookstores (will try to get a list soon!) . Alternatively, esp if you’re in the Klang Valley, you can sponsor me even more and drop me an e-mail at nat[at]jelas.info, and I can see about putting one straight into your hands :D
So yeah, it was great experience getting to communicate with all those authors and going through all their views and analyses.. good stuff :) They’ve got a whole lotta incisve thoughts to share, so grab a copy! :)
(ps- If any of the contributors to the book listed below wish to help sell copies of the book, I do believe special arrangements can be made! :)
Table of Contents, Author Biographies and Quotes:
The Opening Landscape
Betrayal in the dark corridors of power
PM’s – politicians or statesmen?
Sim Kwang Yang
Fuel for the Flames: Issues Behind the Spat
Stop nonsense over half-bridge
Crooked bridge: don’t expect straight answers
Engulfed in the sound of silence
Mahathir’s Legacy of Controversy
Dr M’s karmic cycle
Question time: 22 questions for Mahathir
Mahathir the Changemaster
Reappraising Mahathir’s legacy
The Mahathir patronage
Ten Minutes into a Football Match: Assessing Pak Lah
Legacy of Lost
M Bakri Musa
Two years later, Abdullah fails to impress
Khoo Kay Peng
Frogs: No more coconut shells
Pak Lah or Pak Blah?
PM on the run
Lim Guan Eng
Pak Lah on the back foot again
James Wong Wing On
Hidden Truths? – Looking Behind the Scenes
Let ‘em Slug it Out
Behind the Mahathir confrontation
Dr. Collin Abraham
Mahathir-Abdullah Conflict Dissected
Neither half bridge nor Oxbridge will our issue be
The myth of Mahathir’s invincibility
The Final Picture
Mahathir fades, but Mahathirism thrives
Don’t write off Dr M just yet
James Wong Wing On
Mahathir: Decisively Defeated? Or Secretly Triumphant? (previously unpublished)
Tian Chua and Nathaniel Tan
Letters from Malaysiakini Readers
Be accountable and transparent Mr PM
Dr M leading the way forward
‘I must obey’ Pak Lah – he didn’t
Dr M very good but at a price
Pak Lah a ‘social leader’
Dr M kept man-in-street happy
Dr M exploited taxpayers
Dr M, here are 17 more (questions)
High noon at Putrajaya Corral
Pak Lah should put down Dr M’s insurgence
Dr M, Pak Lah both adults
Pak Lah not Boy Scout or triad boss
Dr M was ‘considerate’ about ISA
Dr M’s quit call amusing
Open letter of sympathy to Dr M
Open letter to PM on Scomi
In defence of Scomi
Mahathir, please bring back our dignity
Giving us dignity was the last thing on Dr M’s mind
After Dr M, time to move forward
Counting our nation’s blessings
Not all followed Dr M’s drumbeat
Mahathir’s turn to accept decisions now
Put right kind of pressure on Pak Lah
Dr M most qualified to criticise
Superson and Superson-in-law, do the noble thing
Don’t blame leaders, vote intelligently
Kubang Pasu not Dr M’s last requiem
Dr M, help us heal our wounds
Johari shoots Umno in the foot
Ku Li started money politics?
Umno must make public its Kubang Pasu probe
Dr COLLIN ABRAHAM holds a doctorate degree in race relations from
RK ANAND is a member of the Malaysiakini team.
HELEN ANG used to write and draw cartoons for
ANWAR IBRAHIM, a former deputy prime minister of
Dr AZLY RAHMAN is a transcultural philosopher rooted in the tradition of Critical and Chaos Theory. Born in
M BAKRI MUSA is a surgeon in
TIAN CHUA is the Information Chief for Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)
NORMAN FERNANDEZ is a practising lawyer and vice-chairman of DAP Johor.
STEVEN GAN is editor-in-chief of Malaysiakini
P. GUNASEGARAM is group executive editor at The Edge.
CHARLES HECTOR is a human rights activist and a lawyer.
JOSH HONG acquired the peculiar habit of reading too much into news as early as when he was a teen. Constantly alarmed by the unofficial divide-and-rule policy of the major dailies in
KJ JOHN served in public service for 30 years and took optional retirement to work in his own consulting group. He hopes to see transparent and open, new governance practiced in
DEAN JOHNS is an Australian freelance journalist now living in
KHOO KAY PENG is an independent political analyst and a business strategy consultant.
STANLEY KOH is a Buddhist monk and works for a local think-tank.
LIM GUAN ENG is the Ssecretary-General of the Democratic Action Party (DAP).
KIM QUEK is a retired accountant
Professor P RAMASAMY is a former professor political economy Universiti Kebangsaan
SIM KWANG YANG was DAP MP for Bandar Kuching in
JAMES WONG WING ON is an analyst with Malaysiakini
 This is in reference to Abdullah’s claim that assessing his performance at such an early juncture is like judging a football player only ten minutes into a match.
“For Malaysians who are watching this contest with morbid interest, it is hard to back either one of them – not Mahathir, for what he had done and not Abdullah, for what he has not done.
This fight, if it persists, will undoubtedly pry open a can of worms. Both parties stand to lose much. At stake for Mahathir is whatever left of his legacy. Abdullah – and his ministers – will find their own fingerprints on every decision they blame on their ex-boss.
Truth must be told no matter which sides it comes from. Let everything hang out, warts and all.”
- Steven Gan
“The recent spat between former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, is farcical to say the least. Dr. Mahathir has been whining like a wounded lion as he sees some of his policies reversed. But the irony is that Mr. Abdullah’s actions have so far been too weak and indecisive to constitute any serious challenge to his predecessor’s legacy.
Ordinary Malaysians can see only too clearly the hypocrisy of Dr. Mahathir’s behaviour. When he complains of being muzzled by the media, Malaysians remember how his opponents repeatedly suffered the same fate during his more than two decades in power. His grumbling about being threatened with the Official Secrets Act sound strange coming from a man who presided over a period when this act was repeatedly invoked against his critics.”
- Anwar Ibrahim
“Essentially, the conflict represents an intra-Malay/Umno conflict over the access to resources, business opportunities and power.
Similarly, the conflict between Mahathir and Abdullah is about forces aligned to these two leaders competing for scarce resources and power. The conflict has become bitter and acrimonious because the side aligned with Mahathir seems to have lost out in access to material wealth by way of contracts, business opportunities and favouritism.”
- P Ramasamy
“It is not difficult to see that in his tussle with Abdullah, Mahathir made the fatal error of treading on the most sensitive spot of the Umno hierarchy – corruption. His threat to reveal evidence of corruption – one at a time – must have unnerved and angered his former colleagues. After all, who among them could lay claim to a clean slate, right up to the very top? Mahathir’s misstep must have been an important contributing factor that tipped the balance.”
- Kim Quek
“It was the Dollah administration’s approach to economic matters that truly threatened to unravel some of the most important policies Mahathir had struggled so hard to propagate in his two decades of power. The word ‘struggle’ is not used lightly. One of Mahathir’s single most lasting legacies was to violently uproot the dominance of the feudal and civil service cultures that Dollah was raised in within Umno and replace it with capitalist/industrialist ones.
By the end of Mahathir’s reign however, he had not succeeded in his goal of transforming Umno into a party of corporate entrepreneurs; instead, being unable to truly come to grips with diligent entrepreneurship, Umno largely become a party of rent-seeking contractors.”
- Tian Chua & Nathaniel Tan