By Jupiter! This REALLY REALLY stinks! Cry-lah sikit!
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 8 — "I wasn't the best of leaders when I was in the hot seat. But I did try my best. If my best is not good enough I am sorry."
While conceding his shortcomings, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad believes that it is time for the silent majority in the country to stop being silent.
"Crying would take us nowhere. It is time to speak up and be counted. If we love our country we must not allow crooks and charlatans to rape and steal it from us.
"It is ours, this country of many races and religions. We must stand together, we the concerned Malaysians, and defend our heritage," he wrote in his blog today.
The former prime minister said all the progress made by the country's founding fathers had been destroyed by those currently in power.
"Now all these dreams seem to have faded away. We are involved in political wrangling of all kinds, our leaders seem to be uncertain about what to do, our foreign policy is in disarray and so on.
"We have lost our direction. And we get no guidance," he added.
The staunch critic of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, his own choice for Prime Minister when he handed over power five years ago, also said that the institutions created by the founding leaders "which we were once confident could handle every problem" had deteriorated.
"Everything is about 'what is in it for me'. Even the ordinary members of once-respected political parties want something for themselves. Jobs, posts, titles, contracts and filthy lucre are the only things which matter.
"Sacrifice? What sacrifice? Who cares to sacrifice whatever. For most of the people we put our trust in to steer this beloved country to greater heights, the only sacrifice is to give up the Mercedes Benz for Proton Perdana, and that too very reluctantly," he said.
Dr Mahathir was alluding to the Terengganu state government's controversial decision last month to buy and continue to use 14 units of Mercedes-Benz E200 Kompressor for its Exco members as replacements for their Proton Perdana V6 Executives.
Reminiscing the past, the former premier said great statesmen such as Dato Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Tan Siew Sin and Tun V.T. Sambanthan had sacrificed and contributed a lot to build racial harmony, peace and stability.
"Could it be that we forgot to teach this generation of leaders about the sacrifices made by our founding fathers. Could it be that we cannot handle wealth as we did poverty?
"Could it be that our leaders lack honour and the sense to accept responsibility and to retire gracefully? Some simply cannot accept the realities, the role they had played in the destruction of a near-perfect system which had done so much for our country," he added.