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The Great and the Good

Dr Mahathir Receives Rafik Hariri UN Habitat Memorial Award

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On the occasion of his receipt of the Rafik Hariri United Nations Habitat Memorial Award on Friday night, and with GE13 rapidly approaching, we felt it was a good time to offer an extended look at Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

We have profiled Tun Mahathir before, and noted that while his time in office was hardly perfect, and in many ways the progenitor of many of today's political problems, his role as the father of modern Malaysia is beyond dispute to any reasonable person. Everything from the gleaming architecture of new cities to the freewheeling culture on the Internet may be traced to Dr M's choices.

So it was that he was awarded the Rafik Hariri Award, which is, according to the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), "given to individuals or organisations/institutions anywhere in the world for significant accomplishments in the areas of: Leadership, statesmanship, and good governance; Construction and reconstruction of settlements and communities; Human resources development and benevolent activities in fighting urban poverty and the implementation of the Habitat Agenda."

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The Government's Accountability Expert Prepares for Pakatan's Lack of Accountability

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Idris-Jala-aWe have profiled Datuk Seri Idris Jala, Senator, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, and Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) before. The former Malaysia Airlines turnaround specialist has come more and more to the fore as GE13 has approached, and with the freshly-tabled Budget 2013, his profile will only increase.

Jala is one of the men in Government best-prepared for the attacks to come.

As reported at The Choice, Jala has become an increasingly frequent target of attacks from Pakatan Rakyat over the last several months not as a result of his performance, but by virtue of having transformed his position as Minister without Portfolio into a point man on some of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's most important, and most visible, policy initiatives.

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From the Wilderness, Zaid Ibrahim Tries to Take on Dr M

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ZaidIbrahimConsistency and coherence are often considered useful attributes if you want to make a career in politics.

Having clear ideas about what you stand for and what you are opposed to, and who your allies are and who are not, would seem to be so elementary that they do not even bear mentioning. And yet... in the strange and topsy-turvy world of Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, what you see is not always precisely what you get.

You all remember Zaid Ibrahim? Once an Umno division chief, then there was a bit of an issue for him to face in Kota Bharu. But then later on he was appointed de facto Law Minister as the Man of Reform and the Man of Action in the Government of Tun Abdullah Badawi.

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The Son of a Great Man Forging His Own Way

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Mukhriz-MahathirDatuk Mukhriz Mahathir has finally hit his stride.

The Boston University-educated son of legendary Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has had an uneven trajectory in life, working through indifferent business enterprises and a rocky political climb during the 1990s and early part of the last decade, with his father's shadow and the battle between Dr M and Tun Abdullah Badawi raging about him.

In the process, Mukhriz has developed a comfortable rapport with the press -- mainstream and Opposition -- and has come into his own. The man who was once used repeatedly as a weapon against his father and Pak Lah in their times is now Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry. The man who once stuttered at cameras smiles and jokes his way through interviews with Malaysiakini in English and in Bahasa Malaysia. The man defeated by Khairy Jamaluddin for the post of Umno Youth Chief has found more success away from that spot than in his ascent toward it.

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A Serious Man Chides His Former Party for Lacking Seriousness

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No wonder Lim Guan Eng tried to gag former DAP vice chairman Tunku Aziz in May – the senior Malay leader's views do not make happy reading for the Penang Chief Minister.

Tunku Aziz has now called on the DAP to follow the 'one man, one seat' electoral formula if it is really serious about capturing Putrajaya.

He called on the party's senior leaders to contest only federal parliamentary seats and leave the state states for other members of the party. This would signal their commitment to wrestling power from Barisan Nasional (BN) and also encourage the political development of junior leaders within the party.

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