Malaysia election

Mahathir’s return in Malaysia is the victory of moral justice

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 May, 2018, 9:45am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 May, 2018, 9:45am

I refer to your report on the recent election in Malaysia, “Mahathir, the Malaysian dictator who became a giant killer” (May 10).

We escaped Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s enforcement of Malaysia’s New Economic Policy, entrenched public decrees and laws that systematically and preferentially favoured the majority ruling bumiputra Malays of Barisan National over my Chinese-Malaysian family, by immigrating to Australia in the early 1980s (“Religion, race, politics: what’s causing Malaysia’s great divide?”, August 27, 2017).

This 92-year-old authoritarian statesman’s moral awakening to incite Malaysians to reject his protégé, the corruption-scandal-hit prime minister Nazib Razak, at the twilight of his long life brings to mind the optimism of Martin Luther King’s assertion that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”.

I celebrated this complex man’s atonement with a meal at PappaRich, a franchised Malaysian coffee house, feeling proud that, after 60 years, Malaysians have lately become immunised to the bribes of wealth and privilege conferred by the “rich pappas”.

Joseph Ting, Brisbane