Malaysia Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, said his approach to managing a multiracial nation is for the government to avoid pandering to any particular group if it is to maintain Malaysia’s peace and stability.
The 94-year-old king of counter-intuitive thinking, quipped: “We have to ensure that people are satisfied with the government of this country."
“The best way to satisfy a multiracial nation is to ensure that no one is happy. When you try to make a particular group of people happy then the rest is bound to be unhappy,”
He continued: "So the best strategy is to ensure that no one feels happy, that means you take something from everyone, and you give back something to everyone."
He shared his contrarian governance advice, which came as a surprise to many, during a Q&A session at the Malaysia Beyond 2020 conference by ISIS Malaysia at Hilton Kuala Lumpur on Monday, Oct. 21.
You can watch Mahathir's comments from the 53-second mark:
What has been Malaysia's success?
Mahathir was responding to a question from the audience about Malaysia’s success.
He was also asked about his various visions from the country in his two stints as prime minister -- from 1981 to 2003, and again from 2018 till now.
He said the government’s achievement in transforming Malaysia from an agricultural economy to an industrialised nation was undeniable.
He added that the government needed to make sure people are satisfied with its policy of managing a multiracial society, as Malaysia depends largely on stability and peace in moving forward.
Earlier in October, Mahathir launched the Shared Prosperity Vision (SPV) 2030, which is an upgrade of Vision 2020 he introduced in 1991.
The Malaysian leader had previously said at the end of September 2019 that his most difficult challenge as prime minister was managing racial sensitivities in multiracial Malaysia.