While his 'Buy British Last' did caused minor diplomatic collision with the UK, his approach in dealing with the capitalist did gain recognition world over, especially among the developing and the non-aligned groups.
The South-South Commission and the Langkawi International Dialogue and the South African International Dialogue, among others that he initiated, were deemed by the West as a premier challenge to their world economic dominant.
While Japan and South Korea were also emerging as the new economic power horse, the more developed West were at their very best to contain such an emergence from getting so much closer to their standard. However, it was the work values of the Japanese and Koreans that steered them to a point beyond the expectation of the West.
And today, such values are still very much in practice - not only in the two countries but in many, including Malaysia.
It has been 30 years since the Look East Policy was introduced. Malaysia has benefited well from it. And thanks to Prime Minister Najib and his Japanese counterpart Mr Yoshihiko Noda who acknowledged Dr Mahathir's policy as the driving force behind our achievement today.
And the policy continues to open up more doors to rapid development of the country.
I remember what Dr Mahathir said when addressing the Third Langkawi Islamic Finance and Economics International Conference (LIFE3) in October last year that Malaysia and other Islamic countries should look to other Eastern countries and not the West as a model for their development.
He said he believed of making the right decision in introducing the Look East Policy of emulating work ethics and business techniques from Japan and South Korea during his tenure as the prime minister
"Right now, there are so many problems with Western countries. The problem in the West is that they have borrowed too much and cannot repay. You cannot have that kind of a country as a model. If you see countries like (South) Korea, Japan and China in the East... China has US$3.2 trillion in reserves. They are swimming in money. Korea can come up with major products better than that produced by companies in the West.
"Japan, as you know, is a country which lost a war... totally destroyed but as it rebuilt itself, it become the second biggest economy in the world. If you want to copy or learn something, learn from the successful people, not from the failures," he said.
True enough. One could not learn much from the West because it was a total failure, and as such we should continue to look to the East and not to the West.
"The West is going bankrupt," Dr Mahathir said.However, Malaysia will not go bankrupt. The Opposition's claim that the economy would burst and gets overheated by the year 2020 was a political gimmick to attract attention. Anwar Ibrahim actually knows the actual situation of our economy but he has to politically ride it.
If he (Anwar) gets to Putrajaya after the next general election, I don't think he will scrap the policy. He will pursue it...or is there anything better than that?