Things are happening quickly in Malaysia. The once revered Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is now a subject of ridicule and insults. He led the ruling regime, dominated by UMNO (United Malays National Organisation), in Malaysia and became the longest serving prime minister. Mahathir was the president of UMNO and the prime minister of Malaysia for 22 years. As a result of his contribution to the nation-building, he was given the title 'Bapa Pemodenan Malaysia' or 'Father of Malaysian Modernization' in 2003.
Mahathir is however now being investigated for numerous incidences during his time as the prime minister. The incidences happened 20 to 30 years ago. Umno and its pool of leaders did not seem to know that these incidences happened at that time. No accusation of abuses or wrongdoings was ever hurled against Mahathir prior this. He is now accused of money speculation in 1992; Memali incidence where villagers, in defense of a religious leader, were attacking policemen in 1985; blamed for having a father or grandfather with Indian ethnicity, etc.
These Umno leaders who are throwing allegations against Mahathir are aged 50 to 60 years. None of them however remembered any of the incidences for the last 20 to 30 years. They suddenly remembered them practically overnight.
There is only one thing that Mahathir is doing differently today. He has been making critical comments of the alleged abuses and money laundering cases of the Malaysian current prime minister, Mohammad Najib Razak.
Mahathir may be an extreme case where a former Malaysian prime minister is persecuted in Malaysia. The rest of Malaysians are not spared, unless they support Najib. The following ordinary Malaysians have been charged in the Kuala Lumpur Session Court for making comments about Najib, perhaps to his displeasure:
- Recruiter Nor Sabariah Abdul Kadir, 29, was reportedly accused of leaving a comment about Najib on Facebook page
- Storekeeper Ng Thai Quen, 19, was accused of posting an edited image of Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, on his Facebook page
- Roti canai seller Mazlan Yusoff was accused of posting an article titled “Zimbabwe Today Is M’sia Tomorrow” with an edited photo of Najib and China’s former leader Mao Ze Dong.
It is not surprising that some UMNO members call their party United Mohammad Najib Organisation, and not United Malays National Organisation.