Paradise Lost: Mahathir & The End of Hope

Paradise Lost: Mahathir & The End of Hope

Book Details
  • Publication Date : Sep - 2021
  • Author : Dennis Ignatius
  • Format : Softcover
  • Country : Malaysia
  • ISBN : 9789671998106

Paradise Lost takes a critical look at Dr. Mahathir Mohamad’s role in Malaysia’s political evolution and his ultimately destructive legacy of corruption, racism and religious extremism. He inherited a nation pregnant with promise and left it mired in division, uncertainty, instability, a grand kleptopia and a terrible kakistocracy. It also examines the role Mahathir played in Pakatan Harapan’s stunning 2018 electoral victory and his subsequent betrayal of the coalition he was entrusted to lead. The end result is a nation in deep crisis, adrift in a sea of uncertainty, unable to come to terms with its past, unwilling to make the compromises necessary for its future.

This book makes for sober reading. Intensely provocative, it challenges long-established shibboleths, spotlights the dangers now confronting the nation and argues that Malaysia’s only hope for redemption lies in embracing and harnessing its unique multicultural identity.

About the Author

Dennis Ignatius was born in Bukit Mertajam, Penang, and received his basic education infamous May 13 incident, found the love of his life, and graduated in 1972 with an honor’s degree in International Relations. After a brief period with the United States Peace Corps, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and got to live his dream as a diplomat. He saw service in London (1974-77), Beijing (1979-81) and Washington (1986-89) before being appointed ambassador to Chile (with concurrent accreditation to Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) and subsequently ambassador to Argentina (with concurrent accreditation to Uruguay and Paraguay). He was appointed high commissioner to Canada in 2001 and served in that position until his retirement in 2008. At the Ministry, he was head of the China desk and twice held the position of undersecretary for the Americas.

He was awarded the A.M.N., J.S.D. and the D.S.P.N. as well as the Grand Cross of the Order of Mayo by the Government of Argentina. He is currently on the advisory board of the IMAN Foundation (London), diplomatic adviser to the First Step Forum (Helsinki) and a trustee of the Edunity Foundation (Kuala Lumpur). He has been a columnist, political affairs commentator and contributor to Al-Jazeera, the Asia Sentinel, The Star, Free Malaysia Today, Malaysia Focus, Malaysiakini and other media portals. His first book – Diplomatically Speaking: Dispatches from the Best Democracy We Never Had – was published in 2018.

He maintains a blog on politics, diplomacy, human rights and civil society. He passionately believes that if the Malaysian experiment is to endure, it must remain committed to Tunku Abdul Rahman’s vision of a secular multicultural nation “inspired by the ideals of justice and liberty – a beacon of light in a disturbed and distracted world.”