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Marina’s latest column on a “grotesque” leader

Marina Mahathir’s column in the J-Star yesterday was headlined ‘True leaders‘.

Marina begins by telling us that she is often asked if Malaysia will ever have a woman premier.

So, logically, we are to presume that the true leadership Marina elects to discuss in her article is the level presiding at the apex of power, i.e. prime ministerial.

Ah Jib Gor and his handpicked NUCC consultants

Marina reckons the ‘woman PM’ question is raised because Malaysians are tired of our current dearth of talented leaders.

Earlier Marina had griped that she did not want “to be ruled by the stupid” – see her tweet below.

Giving an example of a truly unstupid leader, Marina says he would need to have some vision of where he wanted to take the country. (Urm, such as Vision 2020? Sounds like the ‘Liberal Doses’ daughter is affirming the leadership style of her conservative father, at least in this aspect.)

She adds that such a true leader would be able to articulate that forward vision in the manner that people can believe he is “consistent and committed to it”. (In other words, he does not flip-flop.)

But most unfortunately, according to Marina, “not only do we not know what the vision of our leaders are but they remain completely inconsistent, chopping and changing as they please. This confuses people, and yet they have the gall to blame others for that confusion”.


She laments, “Sadly, what we often see are leaders without principles, ready to follow wherever the loudest voices are”.

Hmmm, but who has been loudest lately? Isn’t it her dad? (Exaggerated stage whisper: “Are they in cahoots?”)

And who does Marina mean whom she views as being overly ready to follow the loudest voices? We wonder, not.

CLUE… Refining her criteria for true leadership, Marina writes:

“A true leader speaks no words but his own, because those are the only ones that are authentic to him. He will not speak the words of others, especially without vetting them first.”

Which un”true” leader was recently forced to speak in another’s voice after he found himself boxed in with his back against the wall? Your guess is as good as mine.

Najib May 13

Marina adds:

“He has no need for disturbing visuals … He would be wise enough to know that to manipulate people’s emotions through images is the lowest trick in the book.”

Marina believes too that no true leader worth his salt should be so misty-eyed as to be taken in by “his own public relations or basks in false glory, boosted by artificial means”.

“There is nothing more grotesque than a leader puffed up with pride and hot air,” she adds. (This stinging shot is one down the gullet – oooh the pain!)

Elaborating further, Marina writes that such a puffed-up leader would only be able to get away with his hot air if there was no comparison in the near vicinity to show him up.

Indonesian president Jokowi flies Economy class in Garuda

“Unfortunately within his neighbourhood he has counterparts far more visionary and certainly far more humble than he. Unfortunately too, we live in an age where we can follow what other leaders do very closely. And then we find our own wanting,” declares Marina, rubbing salt into that torn-gullet wound.

She is disappointed by the lack of true leadership in the country because when Malaysian leaders “have the opportunity to do the right thing, they don’t”.

Meandering to her coup de grace – thus far, she has carefully and deliberately omitted to name fingers and point names – Marina throws a very broad hint as to the target of her veiled criticism (only the bangang would have failed to read between the previous lines, lah).


Nudge, nudge, wink, wink – here comes Marina’s kicker: “It is totally weird logic to say that violence in the form of draconian laws is the only way to ensure stability”.

Aaah, so the un”true” leader has upset Marina through his flip-flopping stance on draconian laws, is it?

Piggybacking on the proxy theme, Marina alludes to “abused citizens” who might be successfully cowed into submission and made to “become obedient” but – she warns the true leader – these abused citizens might also end up “twisted and unhappy”.


In contrast to Malaysia’s “draconian laws”, there is the Bill with the diabetic objective of fostering “National Harmony”.

The proposed Act bearing the sugar-coated name has been drafted by the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC) of which Marina is a high profile member. This National Harmony Bill was supposed to have been tabled to replace the draconian Sedition Act.

The NUCC is an advisory body set up by the Prime Minister’s Department and under the patronage of Ah Jib Gor.


It appears like Ah Jib has been double whammied. Firstly, Dr Mahathir’s people were mad at him for wanting to abolish the Sedition Act.

And then when he beat his hasty retreat, Marina Mahathir’s crowd of human rights activists got mad at him in turn. The father and daughter fan clubs are polar opposites in their political orientation. Hence Najib has now managed to alienate the far right and the left field both.

The last time when Mahathir and Marina together got mad at a sitting prime minister, the poor fler did not last very long in office thereafter. (Note: Marina once made a similar but much more lightweight veiled criticism of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.)

Marina’s shadow boxing article above was carried yesterday by the MCA-owned paper.

This is the same publication that gave a subtly glowing account of the opposition during the last general election.

The EvangeliSTAR write-ups on 5 May 2013 (eve of polling day) were seemingly an endorsement of ketum Anwar Ibrahim and of Pakatan as the better choice for government.

Najib gong xi

Ah Jib Gor is a sucker for punishment. He clasps his palms, nodding his head and going “gong xi, gong xi, please stab me”.

“I see you have a pair of sharp, poison-tipped scissors in your hand. Well, here is my back. Go right ahead, it’s my pleasure.”

Just like how he subcontracts to Pemandu certain key policies and the work of administering the government, the prime minister has also indirectly outsourced his Moderation message to The J-Star.

We would like to know how much GMM funding, corporate sponsorship and advertizing expenditure the PM’s Dept. has directed to the Gunting Dalam Lipatan.



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20 thoughts on “Marina’s latest column on a “grotesque” leader

  1. Marina boleh bercakap macam macam mengikut kesukaan mulut longkangnya! Dia tidak bertanggungjawab walaupun apa pun yang terjadi kepada negara!

    Saya menyokong kuat undang undang pecegahan seperti Akta Hasutan. Malah saya amat menyesali perbuatan bangang Najib menghapuskan ISA dan OD.

    Undang undang ini amat perlu demi kesejahteraan dan keamanan negera yang berbilang bangsa seperti Malaysia. Malah Singapura dan USA ada undang undang pencegahan mereka!

    Mereka mahu ke supaya negara huru hara seperti yang terjadi di setengah setengah negara Afrika, timur tengah dan Afganistan?

    Hanya orang yang suka membuat huru hara, bercakap tanpa guna otak dan suka menghasut, marahkan undang undang ini!. Kalau kita tidak berhajat melakukan perbuatan perbuatan tersebut, apa perlu kita marah dan takut?

    Cuma yang penting undang undang ini tidak disalah gunakan!

    Mana ada kebebasan hakiki dalam hidup ini? Dalam kehidupan kebebasan akan dipantau sama ada secara semula jadi atau undang undang.

  2. “A True Leader” like that other much vaunted, abused and used phrase that begins with “True” (whatever that means) like “True Malaysian” is the first give away that Marina Mahathir is nothing once removed from the coat tails of her father former Prime Minister Statesman of Malaysia.

    There is no “True” definition of anything. To suggest there is such a thing (definition) robs one of the diversity of human nature and the human spirit, limits the scope and original talent of people who are talented and original by creating such fictitious undefinable, unreliable and misleading concepts and definitions.

    A leader is often one thrown up by their environment and circumstances. Gandhi for instance was not a “born leader”. He was a great exponent of the English language a poor lawyer but a great reader and translator of the human condition, of societies and diversity of the human race.

    The position he was thrust into in South Africa at the turn of the last century had greatness thrust upon him. It was a question of survival. That of his dignity first then flowing on to the dignity and aspirations of those like minded persons who came from the sub continent and who identified with him.

    Dr. Mahathir was likewise not a man created in the mould of Winston Churchill (Who Lee Kuan Yew adored). Different strokes for different folks. He was a medical practitioner. An iconoclast who destroyed the myth of the ascriptive right of lawyers and royals to rule Malaysia. And he had a vision which drove him to build the nation of straw he inherited from his predecessors in office. The ghost of one of them rules today with a limp wrist.

    History is replete with examples of leaders who defy the national model or expectation of what greatness or leadership ought to be. Lee had very little in common with the rest of the Chinese Singaporean and Malay Singaporean population at the time of his ascendency. He made the best of every little resource at his disposal because there was a challenge before him and his state and he found the right tools to meet and respond to it. (drawing generously from Arnold Toynbee’s thesis at Cambridge “Challenge and Response”).

    Dr. Mahathir had a vision. Not a dream. Hence the difference between him Lee and Gandhi. This business of a “True leader” is bunkum and an immature start to any essay for even a primary student although I do suspect Marina is herself on the rise this time on the coat tails of a powerful NGO purse with Daddy’s blessings.

    Marina Mahathir is a stayer and a “Dark Horse” with the capacity to traverse both sides of the chasm which is Malaysia’s political landscape. One slip and you fall into a deep abyss. So far so good for her.

    If there is to be a “female” leader it surely cannot be in the form of failures like Julia Gillard or Thatcher or Clinton. Each of which has proved to be a petty Napoleon a little Ceaser and a power hungry excuse for womankind.

    There has to be some originality and an exemplary person behind that leadership of women Marina alludes to. Marina may yet prove to possess those same characteristics she says is absent in the field even though her writing needs some polishing (for an aspiring leader).

    Placed in a cesspool of wannabes she shines. A pearl before swine or a diamond in the muck? lets see what have we got for leaders amongst the women (because that’s really where her article was heading).

    Hannah Yeoh (I would not place her in charge of my unflushed toilet). Elizabeth Wong (I may consider her if pornography and self promotion is a cause and an industry worth engaging in in the national interest). Ambiga Sreenevasan (again in Elizabeth Wong’s mould but perish the thought of a nude Ambiga. Would not wish that on anyone Lim Kit Siang included). Ambiga is like Anwar. Cliched to the core, no policy, unable to articulate the truth let alone identify it and a great believer its either Ambigas way or the highway

    Theresa Kok (well the best thing that could occur to Theresa Kok and her greatest contribution to humanity is the insults one could throw at her pigs head included.

    Now where was I? The Indians? What Indians?

    Rest my case.

    Keep trying Marina. At the very least you are the Dr.’s doctor. That is no guarantee you are going to be like him or as great as him. But given what you say about the dearth of good leaders (or True leaders), you would far outdo the rest although I do have a suspicion that someone already on the inside may soon eclipse you.

    Get rid of the trendies around you and focus on real; bread butter issues. Have the heart (cold) to jettison those who have sung panagyreics about you before and move forward with steely determination. Then cynics like too may play follow the leader.

  3. Once again Marian is syok sendiri. My, you just have to hand it to her.

    As for Jokowi, yes she flew economy class but that”s half the story. They didn’t mention the fact that while he was in Singapore, he stayed in a 5 star hotel.

    “Widodo stayed in a five-star hotel on Orchard Road, Singapore’s shopping mecca, an Indonesian embassy spokesman in Singapore told AFP”

    The man is Asia’s Obama in the making. All talk, little to no substance.

      1. We do have a lot of people like Jokowi in Malaysia, they say one thing and do the opposite.

      2. Mahatma Gandhi said: “Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.”

        A true leader ought to be virtually happy. Mostly because he sees that his self-sacrifice is making others happy.

        1. Mahatma Gandhi was the preeminent leader of Indian nationalism who employed non-violent civil disobedience against the British colonialists of his time to demand the independence of India. The Mahatma said about the blessed Prophet Muhammad, in the “Young India” (1924 volume):

          “I wanted to know the best of the life of one who holds today an undisputed sway over the hearts of millions of mankind… and I became more than ever convinced that it was not the sword that won a place for Islam in those days in the scheme of life. It was the rigid simplicity, the utter self-effacement of the Prophet, the scrupulous regard for pledges, his intense devotion to his friends and followers, his intrepidity, his fearlessness, his absolute trust in God and in his own mission. These and not the sword carried everything before them and surmounted every obstacle. When I closed the second volume (of the Prophet’s biography), I was sorry there was not more for me to read of that great life.”

          Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

      3. I remember when LGE first became Chief Minister all those years ago, he made a show of flying economy too. Of course, that was before the S-class.


      4. Too early & premature for you to put up Jokowi’s picture as illustration. Give him a few years to set an example.

        Don’t forget when Pak Lah became Prime Minister, he had refused to be sponsored to play golf with some Malaysian elitists & VIPs. but had insisted that he pays for own his Green Fees during a certain golf tournament.., to indicate that he is somewhat a ‘Mr. Clean’.

        However.., much later on in his tenure as PM.., can we forget that he was rather lavish & spendthrift when the government had bought a brand new large jet aircraft specifically for use of the PM and his entourage.., even though the RMAF already has Malaysia’s version of the ‘Air-Force One’.., i.e. a much smaller Executive Jet.

        BTW.., it is not fitting (as a public figure and statesman) for Jokowi to travel economy – protocol wise. Tak kena tempat.., as the Malay saying goes. Furthermore, it can be a rather big security risk & headache for his official & presidential bodyguards.

        1. I agree with your write-up.

          The pix was included only ‘cos I was making an educated guess that Jokowi was the leader of the neighbouring country whom MM had in mind. It seems most logical, considering that her hubby is Indonesian and thus she has ties to Indonesia.

    1. This whole thing about flying economy in a public airline is so contrived and artificial and in fact outright dangerous.

      Lee Kuan Yew in an attempt to outsmart and ridicule Mrs Indira Gandhi then prime minister of India turned down an offer by her to take him on board Air India 1 the Presidential and Prime Ministerial official Jumbo jet. This was in the early 1980’s and at CHOGM.

      Lee said it was a waste and extravagance no nation could afford to have a whole large aircraft for just one person so he flew first class on SIA.

      Mrs. Gandhi when asked by an Australian reporter (the late Paul Lynham of the ABC Australia) what she thought of Mr. Lee’s comments after he declined her offer had this to say.

      “For a leader to travel on a public conveyance like SIA may be okay for Mr. Lee. I am the leader of a fifth of humanity in all its diversity and I receive at least 50 death threats a day. All of them credible. Why should I therefore endanger the lives of all those other innocents by travelling with the,m. If a terrorist wants to take me out he will take the entire place out”.

      Now therein lies a reason why this Indonesian PM should not put on a display of pious ignorance. The Indonesian military is capable of anything and they do not like him. They are responsible for over 3,000,000 deaths after the coup that brought Suharto into power in a bloody purge that lasted 3 decades.

    1. Typically uncouth as always. Wait. Someone did say DAP = Drugs Alcohol Prostitution. You got hooked on these 3 thus making you sound the way you sound ? Wa ha ha ha !

    2. My dog loves to bite on the Star. WCW is so adorable that she gives him large love bites. So I don’t have to chance to read and learn to be moderate.
      Naughty dog.

  4. Wonder Who is marina TANPA TUN DR.MAHATHIR. so jangan pandai cakap sangat lah. [deleted]

  5. Dear Aunty Helen,

    I guess she must be referring to the PM and Akta Hasutan.

    re: “A true leader speaks no words but his own, because those are the only ones that are authentic to him.”

    That sounds like a dictator who makes decision without bothering to listen to what the public wants. I thought she wants a democratic leader who listens to the people. I thought human rights activists like her want a leader who respects the rights of the people and not a dictator.

    re: “He will not speak the words of others, especially without vetting them first.”

    If she is referring to the PM, I guess her conclusion is wrong because the PM did think carefully, if he only speaks the words of others, he’ll repeal the Akta Hasutan as what the NUCC and J Star boss told him to do.

    Good leaders listen to the people who vote for his party.

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