PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has published the contents of two secret letters said to be from his one-time deputy Tun Musa Hitam, which seemingly reveals why the latter resigned from Cabinet in 1986.
In a posting on his blog on Monday, the former prime minister said he had read Musa’s published memoir, ‘Frankly Speaking’, in which Musa wrote that his resignation had nothing to do with Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
Instead, Musa had claimed that he resigned because he was accused by Dr Mahathir of trying to oust him.
Rebutting those claims, Dr Mahathir appended the two letters said to be from Musa, the first of which was dated Jul 5, 1984 and the second one Jul 31, 1984.
“I agree that Musa’s resignation had nothing to do with Tengku Razaleigh. To prove this I append two letters written by Musa to me about his support for the appointment of T.R. as Minister of Trade and Industry,” Dr Mahathir said sarcastically.
The former premier said he could not uphold Musa’s desire for secrecy as the latter chose to “speak frankly, implying he has nothing to hide”.
He did not publish the original letters, which were rather illegible, in full. However, he attached a transcript of what was said.
In the first letter, Musa advises Dr Mahathir against the appointment of T.R, which presumably stands for Tengku Razaleigh, as Minister of Trade and Industry.
The second one is an advanced notice from Musa of his heavy-hearted desire to resign as deputy prime minister.
“To see how truthful Musa’s frank story about himself please read his two letters. The copy of the original is not legible. So I have printed the contents. You can compare,” Dr Mahathir said.
The former prime minister also sarcastically suggested that the country had missed a great opportunity to see the “close friendly relation” between Tengku Razaleigh and Musa.
“It is a pity. If I had been defeated by T.R., we would be able to see the close friendly relation between T.R. and Musa in the Government. The country would probably become fully developed by 2000 or earlier.
“We missed a great opportunity,” he added.