As PM, Mahathir was noted for his UMNOisation policy. He believed that everything in Malaysia should be run by his bunch of UMNO elite and the others reduced to irrelevance. That’s why he started the Buy British Last and Look East policies i.e. to replace the Chinese role in Malaysia with the Japanese provided they helped the Malays to replace the Chinese role in Malaysia. It has nothing to do with imbibing Japanese work ethics. However, the Japanese were not interested in screwing up anybody especially the Chinese who they felt worked hard for their living. Besides, the Japanese themselves were not interested in helping the Malays for various reasons.
According to Penang Chief Minister 2 Professor Ramasamy’s Phd thesis, it was Mahathir who advised the civil service to throw away the application forms of non-Malays. The result is that 90 per cent of the civil service today is Malay.
The Police Force used to have a lot of Indian officers. Mahathir got rid of all of them.
The only relationship that Mahathir has had with an Indian was with Samy Vellu.