Dhaka, Friday, 22 February 2019
Bangla Insider

Sheikh Hasina new Mahathir?

News Desk
Published on : 10 March 2018, 10:02 PM
Sheikh Hasina new Mahathir?
Mahathir Mohamad is called the founding father of a modern Malaysia who towered over in politics from 1981 to 2003 as the Prime Minister of the country. Snubbing the barbed comments of the Western world, he worked for his people and earned much popularity in his country. It drove him to take Malaysia into the height of calling itself the economic tiger of Asia. The tenure of Mahathir has often been called the golden era of Malaysia. 
His relation with the World Bank was also antagonistic. He rejected the idea of accepting fund from the World Bank. Then, he had the allegation of oppressing the opposition political party. It is also said that he was very strict about his own party members. However, despite these allegations, he transformed Malaysia into a modern, secular and economically solvent country. He went to retirement at his own will. 

Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina is also called the founder of modern Bangladesh. She transformed a country plagued with poverty and hunger and gave it a new identity. Bangladesh is now called the role model of development. From the 22 March onwards, the country will shake off the status of a least developed country. With own fund, the country will construct the biggest infrastructure of the country,  the Padma Bridge along with other mega projects like Metro Rail, Rangpur Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant and the launch of Bangabandhu Satellite. 

The GDP growth rate of Bangladesh has been over six for eight consecutive  years and it has been seven for last two years. Under the government of Sheikh Hasina, the country is witnessing its golden era. Despite having a great popularity in the country, she does not have a good relationship with the West, just like Mahathir. Like Mahathir, Sheikh Hasina is also biased about her country and its people. For not selling natural gas to the United States, she had to lose power in 2001. Just a few days ago, she did not give time to the Deputy Assistant to US President Donald Trump Lisa Curtis. 

She openly engaged in conflict with the World Bank for bringing charges of corruption in the Padma Bridge and invited the Bank to prove its allegation. Later, she began the construction work of Padma Bridge with country`s own funding. 

John Keane is the Professor of Government and International Politics at the University of Sydney who explored the similarities between the two leaders. He called Sheikh Hasina as the new Mahathir of Asia. He stressed, ‘The way Mahathir transformed Malaysia, Sheikh Hasina will do the same by breaking the chain of poverty.’ He further said, ‘The way Mahathir’s controversy lost with the passage of time and remained only his achievements, perhaps, the same thing will happen to Sheikh Hasina as well.` 

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