I haven’t read Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s brand-new autobiography, “A doctor in the house,” or, as it might be more appropriately titled, “A spin-doctor in the house”, and I never will. I’m not much of a fan of fiction, medical or otherwise, and in any case I’ve heard enough of Mahathir’s distortions, evasions and lies to last me several lifetimes.
Having taken the Hippocratic oath and thus assumed the primary ethical responsibility to “do no harm to the patient,” he went on to become the ultimate political hypocrite, and did incalculable harm not only to Malaysia’s people but to the nation’s self-identity and international reputation.
In other words, he chose to forsake the cause of healing and resorted instead to stealing. Robbing Malaysia of not just its natural resources and financial riches by prescribing a regimen of plunder for his supporters, cronies and relatives, but also more crucially plundering the nation of spiritual riches like truth, integrity, transparency and justice.
So I assume that his autobiography, like his Che Det blog and all his other public utterances, is as pernicious a pack of lies as he’s capable of. And that it includes a repeat of the pornographic fantasies he invented to try and kill the reputation and credibility of the erstwhile deputy who over a decade ago dared to defy him, Anwar Ibrahim.
I doubt that Tun Dr Mahathir mentions in his book the fact that his inspiration for hitting Anwar with a sodomy rap may not even have been original.
Many of us are convinced that he got the idea from his old pal Robert Mugabe, who brought sodomy charges against the first black President of Zimbabwe, the Rev. Canaan Banana, just a year or so before Anwar was similarly accused.
As the then editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times once told me, Mahathir immensely enjoys hearing and telling filthy jokes. So Mugabe’s scatological shafting of Banana could well have struck the dirty-minded doctor as a jolly jape for him to play in Malaysia.
Original or not, however, Mahathir and his minions in the police and judiciary certainly made sure the joke was on Anwar. And the beating of Anwar by the then police chief provided Mahathir with inspiration for one of his best-known sick sarcasms, that the victim’s injuries may have been self-inflicted.
By now, though, being played as it is the second time around and evidently with the same intended punch-line, the sodomy joke has grown terribly stale.
Except, of course, for Mahathir and his current puppet Prime Minister Najib Razak, plus the regime’s so-called ‘law’ officers, some cravenly compliant members of Malaysia’s pathetically impotent judiciary, and of course the nation’s ‘mainstream’ media.
As afflicted as they are with Mahathir-style mendacity, and as sanctimonious as they can be in claiming to represent Islamic and other state-sanctioned ‘moral’ standards, the BN regime’s media have long tried to sustain their ailing circulations with regular doses of gay porn.
Gleefully reporting what my daughter and her friends would scornfully call the “wee-wee” and “poo-poo” details of ‘evidence’ of sodomy provided by a parade of ‘witnesses’ paid or otherwise persuaded to perpetuate the disgusting, homophobic Mugabe/Mahathir joke.
Despite some government successes in recent buy-elections, however, it seems to me that more and more Malaysians are failing to see the funny side of Mahathirism, even in its faux-moderate Najib Razak incarnation.
Let’s face it, there are only so many sordid stories of semen stains, anal swabs and such that most reasonable and intelligent people, however broad-minded or tolerant, can be expected to stomach.
Especially when such lurid details are clearly nothing but lying attempts to sustain a sordid fantasy designed to discredit legitimate opposition to the Barisan Nasional regime, and divert public attention from its obscene activities on every other conceivable front.
In the sphere of deaths in custody, for example, in which BN’s disgusting record is currently symbolised by the royal commission into the death at Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission headquarters of the late Teo Beng Hock.
Some mysterious software glitch, we now learn, has conveniently erased records of calls and messages to and from the phones of MACC officers implicated in Teo’s death.
This erasure inevitably and eerily recalls the ‘unexplained’ deletion of the immigration records of Altantuya Shaariibuu, the Mongolian interpreter whose murder by shooting and dismemberment with C4 explosive was linked to close associates of then Defence Minister and now Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Dr Mahathir, still evidently a power if not the power behind the premiership of Malaysia, must be as surely aware of the truth behind the Altantuya Shaariibuu and Teoh Beng Hock cases and countless other BN government atrocities.
Yet I’ll bet his so-called autobiography either fails to mention them at all, or attempts to justify them in the same way that I read in pre-publication reports that it defends his sick jokes on Anwar Ibrahim. And denies, defends or justifies the massive corruption and blatant cronyism so characteristic of his own career and those of his BN confederates.
Tun Dr Mahathir, for all the cosmetic surgery he’s carried out on his own and his regime’s image, is seen increasingly in Malaysia around the world as a monstrous example of social, ethical and political malpractice.
Rather than working to cure fractures between Malaysia’s races and religions, he’s devoted his time and talents to exacerbating them. Instead of working toward a healthy body politic, he’s fostered a system plagued by repression, greed and injustice.
And in the process he’s revealed himself as a chronic, pathological liar. Which is a pity, really, as with his prodigious energy and considerable ability he could have been such a force for good.
Many of us have been hoping, and some even praying, that he’d repent in his retirement and old age, and spend his final God-given years in heeding the ancient exhortation, “Physician, heal thyself”.
However, if early reports are any indication, he shows no sign of self-doubt, let alone repentance, in his new book. But as healthy as he looks on the cover of this tome, maybe he still has time to redeem himself. Perhaps he has a few years left in which to pen a sequel of true confessions before the day Allah chooses to transform him from a doctor in the house to a doctor in the hearse.