KUALA LUMPUR (April 19): Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has been hailed for having been listed in Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people this year, an accolade coming in the wake of the historic Malaysian election victory that swept him back to power in May last year.
In a response to the list, which was revealed yesterday, Sarawak Report founder and editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown described the 93-year-old statesman as a formidable old warhorse and said he dazzled during a gruelling (election) campaign, gathering vast crowds.
She said Dr Mahathir's reliance on core values united electoral groups and his age inspired trust in a grand man of politics.
"You don’t have to be young to fight the power. Take (Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the former Malaysian Prime Minister, who came out of retirement last year to lambaste his successor (Datuk Seri) Najib (Tun) Razak, who is accused of embezzling millions of dollars from the country’s 1MDB development fund.
"Venting moral outrage, the colloquially called Dr M swept back to power in a landslide election victory in May 2018 at age 92," said Rewcastle-Brown.
She said Dr Mahathir has committed to handing over power to the former leader of the opposition, (PKR president) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, 71, whom he released from jail days after his victory.
"For Malaysia, the episode has re-established democracy in a country that almost teetered into totalitarianism," she said.
Among those listed as Time’s most influential people are US President Donald Trump, Chinese President Xi Jinping, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan and Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. - Bernama