from Che Det by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad
1. I went to Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau to campaign for Barisan Nasional. We lost in both places; lost with bigger margins.
2. The papers reported that an independent post mortem will be conducted. I hope the people doing this will question me also.
3. In case they won’t, can I give my opinion via this blog. There were lots of banners and posters in Bukit Gantang. A lot of them showed the portraits of the candidate. But quite a lot showed the picture of the Menteri Besar.
4. There is a belief in some UMNO quarters that if pictures of the politicians are displayed everywhere, people are going to like and support them. So, huge billboards have been put up with huge portraits of the Ministers and Menteri Besar/Chief Minister. To show that the Ministers are close to the Prime Minister, the portraits of the PM are shown close to the Minister concerned. In particular the (then) Tourism Minister together with the Prime Minister are seen everywhere. Maybe this is a tourist attraction.
5. Along Jalan Syed Putra there is a huge portrait of the 5th Prime Minister.
6. People are going to say that it was the same when I was PM. If you care to check you will find that only the Menteri Besar had these billboards with their portraits and mine. Ministers did not in those days. Certainly there were no big portraits of me. In fact the first thing I did when appointed PM was to forbid pictures of me to be displayed even in offices. But they nevertheless put up my pictures.
7. I really don’t think having huge portraits of politicians will make them popular. In fact it is likely to make them very unpopular.
8. Another practice which should be looked at is that of Barisan Nasional State Governments, Government parties as well as Ministers like taking full page advertisements in the papers to congratulate the Prime Minister on his appointment and on other occassions.
9. I can understand the private sector doing this but Ministers and Ministries should not be wasting public money doing this especially before the Cabinet is named.
10. I have lots of observations on the conduct of the two by-elections. But I will reserve them for the future.