Dr. Mahatir said it right! [Archives:2004/802/Letters to the Editor]

December 27 2004

Mohamed Saleh Haidar
[email protected]

After I finished watching the interview of former Malaysian Prime Minister and legend Dr. Mahatir Mohamed on Al-Jazeera channel on Wednesday in the 'Without Limits' Program (Bila Hudood), I was both impressed by his conversation and upset for our Arab countries.

When he was asked about how he achieved this massive transformation of Malaysia, Dr. Mahatir did not answer with pride and egoism, but rather humbly stated that he did what he had to do.

He said that he focused on more action and less talk, something that our Arab governments are unwilling to do as they talk too much and do little.

Countries such as Malaysia, Singapore, and South Korea have reached this level of development only because they exerted efforts and worked hard unlike our government in the Arab world, which kept on talking while achieving nothing.

I personally believe that there are a lot of cadres in my country that can be utilized to help the country's progress.

All the Asian countries I mentioned above never started their path towards development by digging for oil, but rather started by digging their minds to set up strategies and goals, and then work extensively to achieve them. This is in total contrast to Arab countries that gain wealth from oil and when it is not enough, they go on begging others for aid.

So I just hope that the wisdom of Dr. Mahatir would one day find its way into our own Arab leaders.