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Last Updated: Friday, 31 October, 2003, 10:52 GMT
Press eulogy for Mahathir
Mahathir Mohamad
Outgoing Prime Minister Dr Mahathir

Malaysian papers have celebrated the career of outgoing Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad with a chorus of praise.

Some dailies, however, register misgivings about his record, citing his often controversial image abroad.

One daily carries comment by a politician accusing Dr Mahathir of failing to root out corruption among his "cronies".

The last day of Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad's 22-year term as prime minister marks the end of a remarkable epoch. He will go down in history as a great leader and go up in the eyes of his people as the greatest Malaysian alive...

Despite attempts to depict him as an authoritarian leader who rides roughshod over human rights - and lately as a Jew-hating Islamic fundamentalist - Dr Mahathir's vision of the future of Malaysia has always been firmly based on a belief that the different ethnic communities could prosper together.

New Straits Times - in English

Starting today, the power of Putrajaya [new administrative capital] will shift to his successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who will lead Malaysia to succeed regardless of challenges and chances... What is now important for us is to continue struggling to be more successful, maintain harmony, and make Malays prosperous.

Berita Harian - in Malay.

Dr Mahathir has built up the confidence of the Malaysian people. Slowly, his efforts have succeeded in eliminating our inferiority... In fact, to continue his struggles is our true gratitude to him.

Utusan Malaysia - in Malay

Even though Mahathir revealed a lot of corruption he has managed to block the media from publicizing the manipulation and corruption of his cronies... I still remember that Mahathir indeed has strengths, wisdom, and personal strategies, but he has done everything only for his personal and political interests.

Harakah Daily - in Malay, comment by Malaysian People's Party President Dr Syed Husin Ali

During his 22 years as prime minister, Mahathir did not suppress the Chinese. On the contrary, he has done a good job in using Chinese business skills to further the development of the national economy. At the same time, he has allowed more flexibility for the Chinese in education. On the whole, Mahathir has been a prime minister for all the people, rather than a prime minister just for the Malays. The Chinese community should wish Mahathir a happy retirement.

Chung Kuo Pao - in Chinese

Just as Mahathir admitted himself, he is a controversial figure. Comments from Western countries seem to be more often negative than positive. Even when he was just about to retire, the West still attacked him for his 'anti-Jewish' remarks...

In terms of diplomacy, it cannot be denied that Mahathir has not been a skilful politician. His candid and bold image did make him better-known, but it has also brought some economic problems to Malaysia.

Nanyang Siang Pau - in Chinese

In terms of the stable development of our country over the past ten years plus, Mahathir's achievement has indeed been significant. However, bound by political reality, his rule, though laudable for all his contribution to and accomplishment in our national development, has not been able to transcend party politics and racial interests.

Guangming Daily - in Chinese

The task facing the government is to shrink the Islamic establishment and modernize Islamic schools, so that they become less like seminaries and more like US Catholic schools and colleges, producing their share of scientists and professionals. Such schools would increase Malay competitiveness, in turn enhancing race relations.

Malaysiakini - Online newspaper in English

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.

The BBC's Kylie Morris
"22 years serving his country, and now that era is coming to a close"

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