Malaysia far behind West

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 03 May, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 May, 1995, 12:00am

DR Mahathir Mohamad has been re-elected as the Prime Minister of Malaysia; no surprise when you control the media and you make the rules.

Given the circumstances, it would have been incredible if there had been any other result.

What gives cause for concern, is that the first statement to come from the doctor's lips was that Malaysia was going to flex its muscles on the world stage. Given the current state of concern over the Spratly Islands this is very worrying.

For such a small country, it has a lot to say.

There is a saying that empty vessels make the most noise; how apt.

What also gives cause for concern, is that Dr Mahathir has tried to instil in his people, anti-Western feelings.

He has blown out of all proportion, the achievements of Malaysia and yet here we have a country with a population of just over 18 million people.

Malaysia's internationally-recognised achievements, could be written on the back of a postage stamp.

Dr Mahathir has very extreme views on race.

He accused the main opposition party of being racist and yet he makes derisive comments about Caucasian values, mocking such values.

You would hardly expect this from a leader who wants to be regarded as a statesman.

Given that many people in Malaysia still live in corrugated iron shacks, it would seem that the good doctor has a lot of work to do, before Malaysia can catch up with the West.