7/07/2006

choosing a PM - best man does not win

Dr. Mahathir was a very dramatic type. After sacking Annuar Ibrahim, Dr. Mahathir was fighting for his political survivor, elections loomed and the Malay political ground was never so divided. He needed a deputy who wasn’t just politically unambitious but a loyal subservient lieutenant trusted to preserve his legacy. Above all he needed someone who was the least likely to cut a deal with Annuar Ibrahim. Abdullah fitted this profile very nicely. Mahathir always considered Abdullah to be a grassroots politician, a nice guy, and very little vision, if any. by Leslie Lopez, a KL based journalist The above statement is from Leslie Lopez and it is very interesting to note the rationale he ascribed to Mahathir in how he chose his successor. And the criteria is not very flattering for Abdullah. If what Lopez said is true, Abdullah was chosen because he is not ambitious but a loyal subservient lieutenant, a nice guy with very little vision. These are obviously qualities not desirable of a nation's PM. And for Mahathir to choose someone with such qualities, it is evident that it was not in the interest of the state but to serve his personal interest. It seems that Mahathir is very unfair to the nation for choosing a less able man to be its leader. Talking about nation before self or self before nation? Looks like the ablest is not necessary the first choice to be a nation's PM. And the one chosen to be the PM could be a dud.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well, LKY in his memoirs also mentione that Chok Tong was not his first choice as PM. It was Dhanabalan. However, Chok Tong got the job because LKY believed Singaporeans aren't ready for a non-Chinese PM.

Anonymous said...

LKY did not have very a very flattering opinion of his successor either. IIRC, he called GCT wooden. :-0 GCT should sue the old man for defamation, unless he thinks it's true, in which case we had a 'defective product' for a PM for 14 years.

redbean said...

the difference is that mahathir said it to discredit badawi. lky said it as a friendly and frank assessment of his successor. that is why chok tong did not feel offended. there is no malice intended.

Anonymous said...

You're not giving the old bastard the credit he deserves, redbean. He has broken one of the cardinal rules of HR and that is one never puts a fellow team member or subordinate in a less than flattering light in front of outsiders. That's exactly what the old faggot did. He highlighted a character flaw in GCT and since when is highlighting a character flaw not discrediting ? He wasn't merely making a frank assessment of GCT because he could've done that behind closed doors. Instead, he chose to announce it to the whole wide world. No, what LKY did was to remind GCT that he did not become PM on his own merits, that GCT can forget about being his own man and remmeber that he is there only as a seat warmer and when the time comes he'd have to abdicate in favour of Lee Jr. So what the old fart did is no different than what Dr M is now doing to Badawi.

redbean said...

ok ok, i see your point. it can be seen in that way.