Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Malaysia's Mahathir Mohammad

I am not sure of the definition of developed country. But I think Malaysia is either a developed country or fast developing country. It ranks 63 out of 177 countries in the UN Human Development Index. Its ranking in the Per Capita Income Index is 56 out of 179 countries. It is one of the few Asian countries whose citizens have the privilege of visa free travel to UAE.

Most of the credit for Malaysia’s present economic status should go to its former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad.When he took over as Prime minister in 1981 it just had an aggro based economy .By the time he gave up power voluntarily in 2003, it had become a developed and economically diversified country.It is one of the favourite Asian countries for foreign investments.

Malaysia is a Muslim country and its is a democracy(may be a little flawed) where periodic elections are held.It has not had any Army coups like Turkey or Pakistan. Malaysia has not experienced any terrorists attacks on its soil against foreigners.

Malaysia is the only Muslim country which is democratic, moderate and economically developed. No other Muslim country passes these three tests.Should not the western leaders heap praise on Mahathir for this great achievement and showcase Malaysia as an example to other Muslim countries? Sadly it is not happening. Instead Bush/Blair & Co praise dictators like Musharaf.

What is the reason for this?Though Mahathir welcomed western investments he had been and is a fierce critic of western arrogance and duplicity.He was a critic of Iraq war and even held a mock war crimes tribunal in Malaysia. It is a pity even the UN(under the control of western powers) has not made use of this great man to foster democracy,stability and economic development among the Islamic world.

Mahathir,although retired,maintains a personal blog ( which he updates regularly.