VOA Interview: Mahathir says Malaysia Suffering from Financial ‘Destruction’

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, back in power after a 15-year hiatus, says his first 20 years in office were “fairly easy” compared to what is confronting him now — massive debt in a country with an international reputation for corruption.

Mahathir returned to power on May 9 in a spectacular election upset that saw him unite with his former opposition foes to overthrow a prime minister — Najib Razak — who is accused of helping to steal billions from his country in one of the biggest corporate frauds in history. Najib denies all the charges.

“Well my first 20 years as prime minister was fairly easy. I inherited a system that is already there. All I had to do is to introduce new ideas so that we can expedite the growth and development of Malaysia,” the 92-year-old Mahathir told VOA in an exclusive interview.

“But here I am dealing with a country that has been actually destroyed. Its finances have been destroyed. The system of government has been ignored and not used and a new system, or rather an authoritarian system has been introduced,” he said.




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  1. Malaysia should really take an aggressive action in creating more opportunities for its citizens, regardless of race and religion. However, the laws and policies inherited from the British empire are very divisive in nature in a way that it created gaps between the races, be it socially, politically, and economically. Why do have schools based on your race? In my opinion, a good school should consist of all races and religions, so that we malaysians may learn and adapt from and to each other at an early age

  2. I like this man, even at the age of 92 he is working hard to lead his counrty on right path. it gives encouragement to a person who thinks 60+ age is too old to work hard.

  3. Once a upon a times a Chinese Muslims came from China to become the first king of Malaysia. By fighting the Indonesia intruder he request help from the China empire. So they sent more Chinese into Malaya. to protect the country. Now the Chinese become the second class citizen. If the first king knew this he would not allow because he is Chinese. Secondly he loves Muslims. And please explain to me why the Chinese is 2nd class citizen in Malaysia. Why Allah sent a Chinese Muslims to be the first king of Malaya. The reason is Allah is not racist.

  4. The point is that we need to do is anti-fascism as well as anti-communism too!!!! We need to support democracy, but not supporting any sides between any communism as well fascism as well as truly communism and fascism with many kind of truly pseudo democracy as well as we need to understand to fight against the truly injustice of both of the communism as well as fascism as well we supporting for our truly democracy with many practical rational conscience to listen any things in the world in the truly compassion without many conflict making where it is coming from behind the truly Communist and Fascism protestor where it must be understand by our truly our truly democracy in the world with our practical conscience inside ourself, but not by the show off action of the truly pseudo democracy by pretending to be democracy looking with truly communism and fascism and any of combination with truly dictator thinker where it should be carefully to understand to avoid any misconception towards democracy by any pseudo scholars to promote pseudo democracy as well as truly communism as well as truly fascism thinker where it should be avoid by any best from our truly conscience from our heart to avoid anymore about truly pseudo-democracy which it must be understand carefully by our truly heart of understanding how truly ruthless justice of truly democracy of truly practical conscience of people is!!!!!!! We need to find new ways to avoid any kind of truly fascism as well as truly communism with many pseudo names where it is being explained in the misconception where it should not being misconception anymore and anymore than that!

    The more we are civilized where we are, the more truly Communist and truly Fascism will be died by our truly practical wisdom!!!

    We should not killed any Jews as well as our misunderstanding towards truly pseudo Jewish as well as possible to avoid any misconception where it should not being misunderstand anymore!!!!

    We should forgive muslim practice as well as we need to forgive Jewish who is being misunderstand to wage any conflict where it is coming from the truly pseudo Jewish as well as pseudo any kind of religious followers which caused many war where we should understand each other to forgive our misunderstand how truly perfect of the truly practical leaders where it must not being misunderstand to wage any conflict to be no longer happen to be war anymore and anymore than that in the our infinite future of our wish for peace of our best effort for our natural power and immortal God power as well as possible for our wished for our practical the exception to respect how our limit to as God and natural power where there must forgive us as well as persuading how truly Communist and truly Fascism and many combination with many different names where it should not being happened anymore as our best to believed our God and our immortal of our nature rule where God and nature will respect our exception rule to help him understand how beautiful of our imperfect human living being with many practical conscience from our truly inside our heart except our practical looking without practical inside our heart where it should be understand to forgive the exception rule as well as possible for our truly heart to believed in God as well as we believed in the immortal rule of nature by our truly kind heart inside our self which we must respect our truly body as well as we respect our truly born from God as well as our truly born from immortal rule of nature where we must understand him how we live in the impractical world which caused we being living in the misconception about our truly practical theory with many truly practical exception where we must respect him as well to asks him forgive how exception impractical practice from us to avoid any best from being living in the misconception where it should be understand to avoid any misconception about how immoral of our God against our truly innocent with many absolutely practical thinking which caused us to live in the wrong way where we need to understand him to asks him for how exception practice from us to prove that we are truly respect him as well as we forgive our born body from God as well as our understanding how powerful of the truly exception to understand how benefit of our respect towards our immortal natural rule as well as our God to be loved and happily body in our truly heart!!!

    The more we loved our born body from God. The more God will be loved our imperfect body to forgive our practical to understand how meaningful challenge of our truly understand how to forgive our exceptional rule!!!

    We can be feminist without being truly Communist revolution as well as we can be civilized without being truly follow as well as Fascism who is always waging warring for any over meaningful effort in the wrong ways and impractical ways!!!

    The more we believed how truly democracy of we are, the more we can be truly feminist followers as well as truly civilized followers without having any misconception to be biased in one far side of the truly false political position anymore!!!!

    We need to share my words or your truly kind words of your truly democracy lover by your true heart as well as our true heart to promote how truly democracy is without any misunderstand to waging any kind wrong war and many impractical war anymore!!!

    We need to cut one side caused many two innocent side war as well as waging peace to destroyed how powerful lies which caused many innocent side dead by any misconception where it should be carefully to understand which country is behind any false and wrongful conspiracy theories where we must to disprove it as well as possible of our practical effort for what we say for our truly peace lover as well our truly love how beautifully of the truly democracy government lover are!! We need to avoid truly Communism, truly Fascism and pseudo democracy with many different kind of names with many kind of many wrong things with many pseudo looking for the unlimited to promote impractical perfect theory as soon as possible to stop it soon!!!

  5. At 93 years old…he is literally risking life and limb to steer the country back on course. He could very well have chosen to retire and to call it a day. He is the ultimate statesman…we are lucky to have him. Lets make the best of what our country has to offer.

  6. Malaysia has highest number of civil servant in the world with one civil servant in every 19.37 people all najibs and badawi's fault, i assume, but this was snowballing from the 80s – indicating that the civil service is large relative to the country’s population.

    Commenting on the matter, Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani said the bloated civil service of 1.6 million has caused government expenditure to increase each year, leading to the gradual drop in revenue.

    “When I first entered the cabinet, the country was facing a variety of dilemmas — floating oil prices led to reduced government revenue, ringgit devaluation, high living costs and political controversies — which have made my work more challenging.

    “One of the issues that we have to address is the ever-increasing government operating costs and expenses. For example, we have about 1.6 million civil servants, which is the world’s largest proportion of civil service,” Johari told The Oriental Daily.

    Explaining further, the minister said the ratio is one civil servant to 19.37 people based on the country’s current population of 31 million people,

    Johari, however, stressed that the government had no plan to reduce the number of civil servants despite the soaring of remuneration and pensions to the civil servants.

    In comparison, the proportion of civil servants to the national population in other countries such as Singapore is 1 to 71.4 people; Indonesia 1:110; Korea 1:50, China 1:108, Japan 1:28, Russia 1:84 and United Kingdom 1:118, according to a recent survey.

  7. When he was in power before 2003…used to read most English and Malay newspapers at railway station especially on his statements and comments …….Those were interesting time in politics…Now its nostalgic again and able to rediscover the moment again.

  8. Government servants are paid higher than most private companies . Not right , bcos all those money spent comes from the private companies which are taxed . Private Co is being oppressed if this continues

  9. People must understand that Mahathir wants more Malays to be economically successful and rich. He's been pushing that agenda during his previous administration hard and has been rather successful. This invited envy which he did not care so much. And now that the Malays are relatively successful econimically and can stand confidently on their feet he can go easy and start focusing on government institusional system reforms.
    A very clever man and a shrewed politician. He knows what he wants and gets it. The Mahathir Way.

  10. Ada beberapa sebab kenapa wawasan 2020 gagal di capai
    1:Kerajaan BN di bawah Tun Maharhir di thn 90 an
    dgn membina banyak projek mega .
    2:Berkurangnya rezab luarnegeri kerana sikap boros kerajaan di thn 90an
    3:Kemelesetan ekonomi di thn 1997 ,Mahathir tidak patut menyalahkan Tun Abdullah atau Najib Razak kerana gagal mencapai wawasan 2020
    itu ,ianya bermula dari thn 90an dibawah Tun Mahathir yg berbelanja boros.

  11. get rid of the "race privilege". your university has no diversity. stupid business rule requiring certain race to get "Berhad" or to list on Bursa.
    matter of fact, alot of your talents left the country. Deal with this now or your GDP wont grow

  12. Manage the media well please, Dr.M.

    Malaysia is very wealthy with cocoa, shell fish, vegetable oils, oil, gas, timber, huge semi conductors fab, big proportion of test, pack & burn in. There is also a large disc drives, steel fabrications, nearly 1.2 million equivalent car parts and car assembly.

    Malaysia is also a large furniture industry, electrical appliance, the world first synthetic fuel plant in the 1990's, as well as a equipment port in the 30 to 40 million TEU in 2 location. Our international airport handles 60 million flights……..

    …..but the Najib Barisan administration is prone to misadministration.

    It started with Dr. M who now agreed to dismantle the abuses. Dr.M apologized to the Malaysian people and now become the consultant to the Pakatan new government on resolving the issue.

    (Government debt = credit creation. Only issue is how sustainable are these credit is generated)

    Let's work on the rectification now.

  13. During Your time in BN/UMNO people are Contented due job market, Education local and oversea, and a lot business was created. A lot free trade zone for foreign investment by using local worker .But now Business are moving away considering China Vietnam Myanmar due it is cheaper to operate there. I hope that former glory or success story are created again by the new gov. I also hope business here are more fair not due political support to certain parties will award tenders(freedom of business without political influences) . By hiring foreign worker our money will go out so minimize on the intake of foreign worker. I hope there will better future for then next generation. Me myself can't forgive the old premier for putting all of us Malaysian to pay for his greed.'"" Make us Proud to be Malaysian Again

  14. semoga rakyat pendapatan rendah ( miskin ) dibela kos sara hidup mereka yg amat tinggi berikan perhatian penuh golongan tersebut jangan memberi tekanan kepada mereka …

  15. While it's nice for all this rhetoric, but Malaysia it seems is turning more n more Islamist extremism due to 'Arabisation' n that would be the downfall of Malaysia, and don't forget this Mahathir while much better than that ex-pm Najib, he was the crook that started all these Malay supremacism bs, cronyism, nepotism, autocratic despotism n power abuse, etc norm.
    History has shown no Muzzie led nation has been truly successful.

  16. You know he's a genius when he can answer every question convincingly, that he managed to make it sounds like he's not an authoritarian even though we all knew he used to one. Yet he still the best PM we had ever have. He knew what we need, and back then what we need most is stability and economic opportunity, and he provided that in the period that. He's the person you would like to captain the team, to sailor the ship.

  17. Pakatan Harapan(PH) led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad won the 14th General Election defeating the ruling Barisan Nasional(BN). BN has never lost the elections before. At 9:30 PM 10th May 2018, Tun Dr Mahathir was sworn in as the 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia. Generally Malaysians of all walks of life waited for this moment.

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