Back in 1987, Operasi Lalang saw the unprecedented arrest without trial of Malaysian civil society leaders, workers and opposition lawmakers. Through Operasi Lalang, Prime Minister Mahathir turned Malaysia into a semi-authoritarian state.

Now he says the police acted of their own accord and that he was against the operation. This tidbit was revealed in a recent book, Conversations with Mahathir Mohamed: Dr. M – Operation Malaysia by Tom Plate (read summaries here, here and here).

Malaysiakini has this statement, a typical Mahathir classic:

I actually met all of the opposition members (beforehand) and assured them that they would not be arrested. And you know what the police did? They arrested them. My credibility is gone

Is this truth from an ageing dictator seeking to clear his name and asking for forgiveness? Or just more manipulation and lies from Malaysia’s Machiavelli? You be the judge.