KUALA LUMPUR – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is seen as experiencing ‘post-power’ syndrome as he is unable to accept the fact that he’s no longer in power by hating his successors.
Indonesia’s former minister of justice and human rights, Hamid Awaludin said the attitude of the former Malaysian prime minister for 22 years and seen as a wise statesman all that time, had become increasingly childish.
“(It’s) surprising, Tun Dr Mahathir was a good statesman, (but) suddenly he became unwise and could even use racial issues. A leader like this is experiencing post-power syndrome as he hates both his successors, Pak Lah (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“OK, if you want to make an enemy of Najib, don’t raise ethnic issue to the point of even us in Indonesia are dubbed pirates…it does not reflect well on Tun Dr Mahathir as a wise statesman.
“(He is) supposed to be wiser with advancing age, but he is becoming more and more childish, his speech is also getting more childish, showing that Tun Dr Mahathir cannot accept that he’s no longer in power,” he said, here, today at a special press conference on Dr Mahathir’s insulting remarks against the Bugis people.
Also present were Malaysia UMNO Youth exco member, Datuk Mohamed Hazali Abu Hassan and Federal Territory UMNO Youth chief, Datuk Mohd Razlan Muhammad Rafii.
Mahathir, the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman and chairman of the opposition coalition, in his speech on Nov 14, had made insulting remarks about the Bugis community by saying that Najib had Bugis pirate ancestors who strayed to Malaysia and he asked him to go back to the country of origin.
Hamid said raising an ethnic issue when politicking was dangerous as it could cause some ethnic communities to feel more superior than others.
“In fact, the Second World War broke out when (Adolf) Hitler felt that the Aryans were more superior than others.
Unfortunately, 72 years after World War II ended, there are still leaders using racial issues in politics. Race is permanent. A person can change his religion but his race cannot be changed,” he said.
Hamid also said that many people felt that Dr Mahathir should apologise for his remarks.
“We are not in a position to demand that he apologise, but as a civilised individual, he does not need to be encouraged to apologise.
“A civilised person usually has sensitivity, (but) it’s up to him (Dr Mahathir) whether he should be seen as civil or not,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohd Hazali who is also UMNO Youth international bureau chairman, viewed Mahathir’s action of linking the Bugis community to piracy as a desperate move for political mileage.
“The statement can also be regarded as an attempt to cause discord by certain quarters who are not happy with the good relations between Malaysia and Indonesia under the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib and President Joko Widodo,” he said.
Mohd Razlan said the opposition should practise mature politics without raising issues which could cause racial conflicts, especially with the general election approaching.
“Tun Mahathir should withdraw his remarks which could mar relations between the two countries,” he said. – BERNAMA