First published on Asia One, 22 February 2016.

Former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam (Source: AFP)

KUALA LUMPUR – Former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Musa Hitam said Malaysia’s Vision 2020 objective was “falling apart” with “alarming speed”, and he blames Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for it.

In his keynote speech at an event to mark the sixth anniversary of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas), Musa said this was because the former premier did not train leaders but instead chose to retain and train followers instead.

“It is ironic that Dr Mahathir’s vision is now certain to fail because of Dr Mahathir himself.

“Brilliant as he was, he forgot that in order to succeed he needed to train leaders at all levels, but most importantly, political leaders.

“But his personal leadership record shows that he did away with all potential leaders, and retained and trained followers,” Musa said in his speech.

He said in the last few years, the behaviour of certain people in government and politics seemed to be based on struggles which prioritised personal survival.

“By now, we should just be about ready to cross the line of definition from ‘developing’ to ‘developed’.

“Unfortunately, though, it seems to me that the 2020 dream is falling apart with alarming speed,” he said.

Musa was Dr Mahathir’s deputy from 1981 to 1986, when he resigned due to differences with the then Prime Minister.

He then joined forces with Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah who mounted a challenge to Dr Mahathir’s position as Umno president in 1987.

Dr Mahathir retained his position with a narrow majority of 43 votes at the Umno election.

Ideas chief executive Wan Saiful Wan Jan, in his speech said that the institute’s mission has been the same throughout its six years.

“It is to improve the level of understanding and acceptance of public policy based on the principles of rule of law, limited government, free markets and individual liberty”.

Ideas was set up on Feb 8 to coincide with the birth date of Tunku Abdul Rahman, who died on Dec 6, 1990 at the age of 87.

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