Dr M: Key to pleasing all in Malaysia is to please none

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a Q&A session at the Malaysia Beyond 2020 conference by ISIS Malaysia at Hilton Kuala Lumpur today, October 21, 2019. ― Bernama pic
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a Q&A session at the Malaysia Beyond 2020 conference by ISIS Malaysia at Hilton Kuala Lumpur today, October 21, 2019. ― Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 21 — The government must avoid pandering to any particular group if it is to maintain Malaysia’s peace and stability, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The prime minister then quipped that the secret to pleasing all sections of the country was to ensure none was especially content with the administration.

“We have to ensure that people are satisfied with the government of this country.

“The best way to satisfy a multiracial nation is to ensure that no one is happy. When you try to make a particular group of people happy then the rest is bound to be unhappy,” he said in a Q&A session at the Malaysia Beyond 2020 conference by ISIS Malaysia at Hilton Kuala Lumpur today.

He was responding to a question from the audience about Malaysia’s success and his various visions from the country in his two stints as PM from 1981 to 2003 and again from 2018.

He said the government’s achievement in transforming Malaysia from an agricultural economy to an industrialised nation was undeniable.

Earlier this month, Dr Mahathir launched the Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030, an upgrade of Vision 2020 he introduced in 1991.

On Merdeka eve this year, the 94-year-old leader said his most difficult as prime minister was managing racial sensitivities in multiracial Malaysia.

To a separate question today, the PM said the government would not consider offering tax incentives to firms that promote national unity and said there were too many subsidies as is.

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