The trend is becoming clear. With the victory of Malaysian opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan led by former revered strongman Mahathir Mohamad in the recently-concluded Malaysian elections, a region revisits its roots as rapidly-industrialising economies back in the mid- to latter-half of the 20th Century. The return of Mahathir follows a similar ascent to power of Mindanao dark horse Rodrigo Duterte in the Philippines in 2016 that also befuddled political observers and turned the political establishment in Manila upside down. The Sydney Morning Herald today makes a similar assessment in its report of the expected aftermath of Malaysia’s first major change in government in 61 years…
In a result that has dumbfounded most analysts and turned the political system of Malaysia upside-down after decades of one-party rule, the Muslim-majority nation delivered a resounding vote for change on Wednesday by dumping the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak.
The result will go off like a political earthquake in south-east Asia, where there has long been a tendency towards one-party rule and which in recent years has taken a turn towards more authoritarian regimes.
Mahathir had led Malaysia for two decades as prime minister from 1981 to 2003 and oversaw the awesome development of Malaysia from Third World to a major regional economy that uplifted millions from poverty. The 92 year-old Mahathir is regarded as a pillar in a generation of strongmen that ruled the original countries that went on to found the Association of Southeast Asian Nations(ASEAN) including Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew, Indonesia’s Muhammad Suharto, and Prem Tinsulanonda who was key amongst several military dictators who ruled Thailand in the 1970s and 1980s. Joining that group, of course, was the Philippines’ very own former President Ferdinand Marcos who also ruled the Philippines with an iron fist in the 1970s and early 1980s before he was deposed in a military coup in 1986.
|SUPPORT INDEPENDENT SOCIAL COMMENTARY!|
Subscribe to our Substack community GRP Insider to receive by email our in-depth free weekly newsletter. Opt into a paid subscription and you'll get premium insider briefs and insights from us.
Subscribe to our Substack newsletter, GRP Insider!
Mahathir’s return to power comes at an interesting time firstly in the context of the Philippine public’s own recent embrace of the “strongman” leadership of Duterte. Second, the current prime minister of Singapore happens to be Lee Hsien Loong who is the son of Lee Kuan Yew. Third, and back to the Philippine context, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr, also the son of a former ASEAN Original is also a strong contender for a return to Malacanang. A return of Marcos to power will see three of the five founding ASEAN member states led by men with the illustrious family names of “strongmen” of ASEAN yore.
The ASEAN, now the economic power bloc that was the stuff of the aspirations of its former patriarchial leaders takes its place amongst the world’s cliques of powers that are emerging as part of the developing story of the postulated retreat of Western liberalism worldwide. To the erstwhile dominance of the “goodness” of Western liberalism are the recent proposals presented by the recent “affronts” to it in the form of Britain’s exit from the EU, the rise to power of Donald Trump in the US, the electoral backlash to perverse multiculturalism in Western Europe, the paving the way to a new stance against immigration put up by Eastern Europe, the new Cold War launched against the “good guys” by Russia, and the bid for renewed hegemony in the Orient by a Celestial Empire newly awakened after a century or two of slumber.
It is fitting that ASEAN now takes its place in the emerging new world order led once again by the sorts of leaders that originally made it great and oversaw real progress by showing their respective citizens The Money. Interesting times and even more interesting opportunities to learn from what, essentially, are unprecedented developments. It is difficult to issue stamps on approval to where we are headed at the moment but, at least, the change is real and substantial — a far cry from the mere promises of a former world Western “liberal” order that is now evidently failing to evolve as it latches on to what had essentially become rigid and increasingly-obsolete dogma.
benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.
5 Replies to “Mahathir Mohamad set to turn Malaysia back into a REAL southeast Asian nation!”
Mahatir Mohamad might become the prime minister of Malaysia for life. He’ll rule his country until he’ll die & take a look at his age right now, he’s 92 years old! And yet, he’s still strong in spite of his age, and his people still loves & support him. Surely the Western world will despise him as a “Strongman” just like Putin, Duterte, Ergodon, etc. They’ll be dead jealous for that guy. 😀
I hope that our president, Duterte will change his mind for not running a re-election after this news event & planning for a charter change in our country from a Yellowtard unitary form of government into a stable, radical & game changing federal form of government. Please Mr. President, we still need you & you still have more time to make change & give lots of rooms for an improvements in our country for as long as you will NEVER abuse us & take a selfish desire for the sake of power & money just like what our so-called “Pulpulitiko” (Pulpol na Pulitiko) or also known as TRAPO (Traditional Politicians) in our country. Those guys should put them to death & they’re staining our country for a long time!!! MAKE PHILIPPINES A GREATER NATION IN ASIA! 😉
Amen to that!
FEM DEPOSED HIMSELF. He left the scene of the coup avoid bloodshed. It is a known fact that he did not flee the country but was kidnapped by the Americans and brought to Hawaii, at the behest of the Aquinos. It is also a known fact that Macoy wanted to come back home so he could clear his name but, vindictive and evil as she was, Cory did not allow him to do so. And the rest is history.
Let us define a leader. He must have vision and passion and not be afraid of any problem. Instead, he should know how to defeat it. Most importantly, he must work with integrity.
I don’t subscribe to the Western Ideology, of Progressive Liberalism. I’m more of a Centrist in ideology. Sometimes, I lean more on Conservatism.
It is now a trend in the political atmosphere; the return of Strong Leaders. Weak Leaders, in the form of the Aquino Cojuangco political axis, had been with us, for three decades. They have nothing good to show off; except they are narcissists with, their inflated egos. Like naming : airports, ball park stadiums, buildings, etc.. for themselves. They put also their nasty faces, on our currencies.
Malaysia, is showing the trend. The Philippines will surely follow. It is the trend of the times, for people to elect strong and able leaders. We hope that young, able and strong leaders will come out in our country. And that, the Filipino electorate will be able to see them and vote for them.