100 days under Pakatan: Mahathir's 'back to the future' moves

Dr Mahathir inspecting a newly launched Proton Waja in Shah Alam, Malaysia, in 2000. Dr Mahathir receiving a Japanese national football jersey from his Japanese counterpart, Mr Shinzo Abe, in Tokyo in June. Dr Mahathir wants to increase Malaysia's pr
Government advisers (from left) Tun Daim Zainuddin, Professor Jomo Kwame Sundaram, Tan Sri Hassan Marican and Tan Sri Zeti Akhtar Aziz.PHOTO: BERNAMA
Dr Mahathir inspecting a newly launched Proton Waja in Shah Alam, Malaysia, in 2000. Dr Mahathir receiving a Japanese national football jersey from his Japanese counterpart, Mr Shinzo Abe, in Tokyo in June. Dr Mahathir wants to increase Malaysia's pr
Dr Mahathir receiving a Japanese national football jersey from his Japanese counterpart, Mr Shinzo Abe, in Tokyo in June.PHOTO: REUTERS
Dr Mahathir inspecting a newly launched Proton Waja in Shah Alam, Malaysia, in 2000. Dr Mahathir receiving a Japanese national football jersey from his Japanese counterpart, Mr Shinzo Abe, in Tokyo in June. Dr Mahathir wants to increase Malaysia's pr
Dr Mahathir inspecting a newly launched Proton Waja in Shah Alam, Malaysia, in 2000. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
Dr Mahathir inspecting a newly launched Proton Waja in Shah Alam, Malaysia, in 2000. Dr Mahathir receiving a Japanese national football jersey from his Japanese counterpart, Mr Shinzo Abe, in Tokyo in June. Dr Mahathir wants to increase Malaysia's pr
Dr Mahathir wants to increase Malaysia's price of raw water supply to Singapore by more than 10 times to reflect the higher cost of living. PHOTO: ST FILE

Call it deja vu with the new Pakatan Harapan government, as Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad revives ideas dating back to his time leading the government from 1981 to 2003. Assistant Foreign Editor Lim Ai Leen examines how the administration looks to the past as it charts Malaysia's future.

Within days of winning the general election, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad unveiled a Council of Eminent Persons to advise the new government on economic and financial matters. The five-man team - comprising seasoned hands in the private and public sector with an average age of 75 years - is headed by Dr Mahathir's trusted adviser and shrewd businessman, Tun Daim Zainuddin.

The council has advised on scrapping the goods and services tax, reviewing mega projects, investigating troubled state fund 1MDB and restructuring government-linked companies (GLCs).

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 18, 2018, with the headline 'Mahathir's 'back to the future' moves'. Print Edition | Subscribe