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KUALA LUMPUR – The union between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the leadership of Pakatan Harapan (PH) shows that they are willing to do anything in their quest for power.
President of Council of Former Elected Representatives Malaysia (Mubarak) Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Rahman said Mahathir and Anwar, who used to be enemies, are now united in order to pursue their political agenda.
“They are willing to do anything for power. Mahathir was the one who sent Anwar to jail but now they are on good terms,” he told reporters at a dinner and opening of the Preparatory Workshop and Debate Simulation of the Student Parliament, here tonight.
Abdul Aziz was commenting on the new leadership line-up announced by the PH Presidential Council yesterday.
The new PH leadership line-up has Anwar as the de facto leader, Mahathir as the chairman and Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the president.
Abdul Aziz advised the students not to be deceived by the various political gimmicks of the Opposition ahead of the 14th General Election (GE14).
“Their political gimmicks will continue. The young who represent 40 per cent of the votes must be cautious with information via the social media as their mind can be distorted by the many improper things.”
KUALA LUMPUR – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak cannot be compared to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the latter carries with him a lot of baggage, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.
He noted that Dr Mahathir was prime minister during the time a number of regimes surrounding Malaysia were ousted.
And Dr Mahathir was compared as apple-to-apple with these ousted dictators, he said in his blog sskeruak.blogspot.my.
He went to say that the western media had accused Dr Mahathir of wasting billions of ringgit of the nation’s money including those labelled as ‘leakages’.
“This was published in a book and is another Mahathir legacy which Najib should not be compared with,” Salleh said.
The minister further said that in 2013, Dr Mahathir accused Najib of neglecting the Malays and of pandering to the Chinese, whereas it was the Malays who supported UMNO.
“For sure Najib cannot be compared to Dr Mahathir,” he said.
PETALING JAYA – The silence between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz during their meeting on Saturday was because the former premier did not want to speak, says Nazri.
The Padang Rengas MP told The Star Online that he did try to speak to Dr Mahathir but noticed that the 92-year old was apparently shocked by his appearance at Lembah Sungai Perak on Saturday.
“You know me, I would accept any invitation. I was waiting at Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) Sultan Azlan Shah from 1.30pm to 4pm.
“He avoided me at MRSM and I came to know that he was in Lembah at the riverside, so I contacted one of his aides, and according to the aide, Tun (Dr Mahathir) agreed to see me.
“That is why I went there,” he said Sunday, responding to Dr Mahathir’s claims that Nazri had been silent during the 30 minutes they had sat next to each other.
He added that upon his arrival, one of Dr Mahathir’s aides tried to prevent Nazri from shaking hands with the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman.
“I went ahead and shook his hands and welcomed him. He merely smiled at me.
“He did not say anything and there was no warmth at all. It was like he did not want me to be around, so I had to respect his wishes,” he said, adding that Dr Mahathir only told him that Pribumi vice-president Datuk Hamidah Osman was interested in contesting in the Padang Rengas constituency.
The Tourism and Culture Minister said that during the course of the 30 minutes, he was waiting for Dr Mahathir to ask him questions.
“He said it at a press conference before, ‘I will ask all the questions and Nazri should answer,’ so I waited for him to ask me, but he just kept quiet and I did not want to encroach his privacy.
“I respected that it was his programme and I adhered to all the rules. Moreover, the person sitting on my other side was asking me a lot of questions, and that was why I was talking to him instead,” he said.
Asked if the meeting was awkward, Nazri quipped, “Not at all”.
“I was very comfortable. But he (Dr Mahathir) was very frail. I have been wanting to see him for a while now, it has been four years since I last saw him.
“But when I saw him yesterday, he looked frail and he was coughing,” said Nazri.
Nazri and Dr Mahathir were scheduled to have held a debate in MRSM Sultan Azlan Shah on March 25, but that has now been postponed to April 7. – The Star
IPOH – Perak police have rejected the application for a permit by the organiser to hold a debate between former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Nazri Abdul Aziz which is scheduled to be held in Kuala Kangsar near here this Saturday.
Perak acting police Datuk Hasnan Hassan said the application was denied after taking into consideration factors like safety and security, public order, upholding the rights and people’s freedom.
He said Kuala Kangsar police chief ACP Ahmad Termizi Abd Haq received the application from a representative of the organiser Kumpulan Media Karangkraf at 3 pm yesterday as per Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012.
“It was stated in the application that the debate between Nazri and Dr Mahathir would be held on March 25 from 2.30pm to 4.30pm at Dewan Maktab Rendah Sains Mara, Kati, Kuala Kangsar.
“The Kuala Kangsar police chief has rejected the application and this will be followed with an official notification which will be hand delivered to the organiser today. The organiser has already been informed of the decision (to deny the permit ) yesterday,” he said in a statement here today.
Hasnan said one of the reasons why the application was denied was due to the delay in submitting the notification form as stated under Section 9 (1) of APA 2012.
“The organisers shall produce a notification to the officer in charge namely the district police chief within 10 days before the gathering,” he said.
He also said that the selected venue for the debate, the MRSM Kuala Kangsar, a school, was a protected place as stated in the First Schedule (Section 3 APA 2012).
“Besides, eight police reports have been lodged by the public and local residents who are concerned about their own safety as well as of their families,” he said.
Hasnan also added that in the Third Schedule of the act, it was stated that such an assembly or dialogue was not included in the list of permitted assemblies and asked all parties involved to abide orders by the Kuala Kangsar police chief.
“Stern action will be taken according to the law if this debate continues,” Hasnan said.
BALIK PULAU – DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang cannot become prime minister as his party is too small, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic).
The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Pribumi) chairman alleged that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had said that Lim would become prime minister if Umno fell.
“How can Kit Siang become prime minister? His party is small,” he said, without elaborating on what he meant by DAP being “small”.
Najib had previously said that Lim was Pakatan Harapan’s de facto leader and that he “calls the shots” in the coalition.
Dr Mahathir in his speech at a meeting with Balik Pulau residents at Dataran Muafakat MBPP on Saturday also apologised to the people for having backed Najib to succeed Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as prime minister.
Dr Mahathir, who was at helm of the country for 22 years, also urged voters to utilise their voting power wisely.
He expressed sadness for asking the people not to support Umno as he had once been the party president.
“Umno is no longer the same party as before,” he said. – The Star
Mahathir and Salleh.
KUALA LUMPUR – Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said the latest revelations regarding Bumiputera Malaysia Finance Limited (BMF) and forex scandals have put Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in a very awkward position.
Salleh said the former prime minister’s recent posting on the issue in the latter’s blog revealed his hypocrisy and double standards.
“As much as he is attempting to explain away the issue and treat them as if they are not material, it invariably reveals his hypocrisy and double standards.
“This is the conclusion anyone would draw from his recent very defensive chedet.com posting,” he said in his blog at http://sskeruak.blogspot.my/, last night.
Salleh said that without question, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report exposed Dr Mahathir’s responsibility in the mega-billion loss suffered by the country.
He claimed that as usual, Dr Mahathir blamed others except himself for the aforementioned financial disaster.
He added that the scandals made Dr Mahathir the last person in Malaysia qualified and credible enough to ask Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to step down from office, citing 1Malaysia Development Berhad 1MDB as the excuse.
“While Dr Mahathir refuses to accept responsibility for the BMF and Forex scandals, he is using the 1MDB issue as an excuse to topple the Prime Minister.
“The truth is 1MDB was sabotaged to turn it into a problem and it started with the sabotage of its IPO (initial public offering),” he said.
KUALA LUMPUR – Barely four months old, former premier Mahathir Mohamad’s Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) has found itself engulfed in a sex scandal involving a woman leader, Ms Anina Saadudin.
Her alleged sexting with a man has been making the rounds on WhatsApp and pro-Umno blogs, forcing the party to drop her at the weekend as its proposed chief of the yet-to-be-formed women’s wing Srikandi. She remains a member of the decision-making supreme council of PPBM whose chairman is Tun Dr Mahathir.
“Only a stupid party would bow down to a stupid scandal,” Ms Anina, a former university lecturer, told Free Malaysia Today on Sunday, in response to the scandal and being dropped from leading Srikandi.
No details were available about her age or marital status. She told Bahasa newspaper Sinar Harian earlier this month that the scandal would not affect her as long as her “children, family members, students and friends” stood behind her. Ms Anina was named head of the women’s wing on Nov 2, at the same ceremony where PPBM announced its supreme leadership council members. The formation of Malaysia’s newest political party was officially approved in early September.
In a statement issued on Sunday, PPBM secretary-general Shahruddin Md Salleh said it had yet to formally establish the women’s wing. “Thus, the position of Anina being referred to as Srikandi chief should not arise,” he said.
Ms Anina shot to fame after her scathing speech against Prime Minister Najib Razak at a meeting of her Langkawi branch of the ruling Umno party last year over the Premier’s corruption scandal. She described Datuk Seri Najib as having “urinated” on Umno members for causing the 1Malaysia Development Berhad scandal. This led to her sacking.
She joined Dr Mahathir when he started talking about forming a new political party to take on Mr Najib.
PPBM is led by its president, former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
The sex scandal comes at a bad time for PPBM as it is trying hard to woo conservative Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) to rejoin the opposition ranks to fight against Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) at the next general election.
Opposition party PAS has sidled up to Umno after a bitter break-up with its former alliance members in the opposition.
Dr Mahathir has said PAS has to work with the other opposition parties in order to avoid three-cornered fights at the next polls, or they would lose badly to BN.
PPBM could be heading for more uncomfortable glare in the coming days. Its former prominent member, Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan, said yesterday that if Ms Anina was dropped owing to the sex allegations, PPBM president Muhyiddin must clear his name over recent accusations that he had an affair with someone’s wife years ago, The Star reported.
SHAH ALAM – PAS is confused, jested former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed.
“PAS is confused. They are in the Selangor state government with DAP. At the same time they don’t want to be with us,” he said to the media at the Parti Amanah Negara’s (PAN) convention.
He was referring to PAS’ current stand that it could work with DAP and PKR in Selangor but not at federal level.
PAS also appears to be on ‘friendly’ terms with Umno and would need to decide if they are still with the opposition.
“So they are a little bit confused. They need to make their minds then we can make up ours. They need to be unconfused ,” Dr Mahathir said.
Those who make the next election a three cornered election, is with the government (Barisan Nasional), he added.
Meanwhile, PKR Vice President Nurul Izzah Anwar reminded PAS of the Opposition’s Reformasi objective.
“Our efforts are to save the future of Malaysia. I would like to remind them to please re-prioritise. This is our future,” she said.
PAS has severed ties with DAP which led to the dissolution of Pakatan Rakyat and led to the formation of Pakatan Harapan with splinter party, Amanah.
The opposition parties including PPBM are mooting to contest under a single logo for the next general elections in order to prevent three corner fights.
Dr Mahathir (second from left) met with Opposition leaders in Parliament on Tuesday.
KUALA LUMPUR – It is unfair for the Government to stop Parliamentarians from speaking on issues like 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) report, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The former premier was in Parliament on Tuesday for a meeting with Opposition lawmakers.
“Yes, there is a limit to freedom of speech and freedom of press, as otherwise it may cause racial tension among other issues.
“However, Parliament is free from these limits, especially with regard to freedom of speech.
“They represent the people and their grouses and they must be heard and allowed to speak freely,” he said.
Dr Mahathir then hit out at the Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, claiming he was biased towards the Government.
“The speaker is supposed to be like a judge and he should not be biased in Parliament. The speaker should not take into account his loyalty to any party.
“However, the speaker has on multiple occasions made statements and stopped debates which were on matters that could possibly displease certain quarters,” said Dr Mahathir, who is also chairman of the newly formed Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
He also said that Parliamentarians should not be subject to the Official Secrets Act (OSA) for simply pointing out the things they discovered during their time in the Cabinet.
Dr Mahathir met with Opposition leaders on Tuesday, including DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang, Pribumi president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng. – The Star
DAP’s newsmaker and parliamentarian Jeff Ooi marked the 29th anniversary of the notorious Operation Lalang on his Facebook.
“Ops Lalang … 29 years today. A lingering Umno legacy,” he wrote.
A year ago, Ooi, who is Jelutong MP, would have probably blamed the Internal Security Act (ISA) crackdown on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who was then the Prime Minister and Home Minister.
But Malaysian politics has become so fluid – enemies yesterday, friends today and something else tomorrow.
Dr Mahathir has gone from arch enemy to friend of DAP. Leaders of DAP have taken to closing an eye on his past excesses and some of them even pretend that they never said all those awful things about him.
All the things they used to throw at Dr Mahathir have been conveniently transferred to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The former Premier has also been interviewed by Roketkini, the DAP’s Bahasa Malaysia online portal. That ought to have been another milestone in his colourful and controversial career but it passed with quite little interest largely because what he told Roketkini was what he had said numerous times before.
Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto, whose politician father P. Patto was also caught in the ISA dragnet, issued a statement censuring Barisan Nasional for using the ISA to cling to power. She lauded those arrested, among whom was Lim Kit Siang, as the “conscience of the many voiceless”.
Again, no mention of Dr Mahathir. It does look like the opposition parties have absolved Dr Mahathir of any responsibility for Operation Lalang.
Past anniversaries of Operation Lalang used to find Lim demanding that Dr Mahathir apologise for his action but there was silence on the part of the elderly DAP leader this year.
There is actually a deep sense of disquiet among many DAP politicians about Dr Mahathir. They are still distrustful of what they call the “old man’s agenda”. Their aim is to ride on his prestige but they are unsure whether this avid horseman is instead riding them like a horse.
But Lim’s word carries weight in the party. He has insisted that DAP needs to work with Dr Mahathir to break into the Malay hinterland and erode the influence of Umno.
Lim and Dr Mahathir are like some sort of secret lovers these days. They are together in their quest against Najib but they try not to be seen together because Lim turns off the average Malay while the average Chinese is not into Dr Mahathir.
Lim even chastised Najib for remarks seen as aimed at Dr Mahathir during the Budget speech. He said Najib was “hitting below the belt” for “deviously attacking Mahathir”.
Well, Lim did have a point there because Najib had concluded his Budget speech with a sort of farewell to Mahathirism and the unfulfilled Vision 2020. The Prime Minister announced his own vision for Malaysia, naming it TN50 or Tranformasi Nasional which will chart the future for a new Malaysian generation by the year 2050.
“Let the old legacy pass. We will create the future of Malaysia,” said Najib, without once mentioning Vision 2020.
To rub salt into the wound, Najib appointed the happening Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin to initiate the discourse for TN50.
It was quite a Machiavellian touch on Najib’s part.
Khairy is the perfect choice for the task but, as everyone knows, Dr Mahathir dislikes Khairy whom he privately mocked as “kambing hitam” (black sheep) from the day the latter’s father-in-law Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi became Prime Minister. Moreover, Khairy had stood in the way of Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir’s political ambitions in Umno.
In his interview with Roketkini, Dr Mahathir dismissed Najib as a “failed student”. He was not amused with the opinion that Najib is his “best student” in the art of political survival.
But there is no denying that the student has elevated the art of the master.
Dr Mahathir has yet to respond to the Budget or TN50. Instead, he decided to give Najib a break and turned his guns on Tun Musa Hitam, his Deputy Prime Minister from 1981 to 1986.
He had read Musa’s memoirs Frankly Speaking and decided to do some frank speaking of his own.
He apparently could not stomach Musa’s claim that he resigned as Deputy Prime Minister after being accused of trying to oust Dr Mahathir.
Dr Mahathir published two confidential letters sent to him from Musa in his Chedet blog to show that Musa resigned because he was upset over Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah being made Trade and Industry Minister.
Dr Mahathir and Musa rode to victory in the 1981 general election as the 2Ms but their relationship swiftly went downhill, largely because of their different personalities and outlook and also because where Dr Mahathir is concerned, there can only be one tiger on the hill.
In 1984, Musa became the Umno deputy president against his rival Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.
In what was seen as a move to check the rise of Musa, Dr Mahathir offered Tengku Razaleigh the post of Trade and Industry Minister.
Musa was naturally unhappy and had penned the two letters to Dr Mahathir. The first letter was an attempt to dissuade Dr Mahathir from offering the Trade and Industry post to Tengku Razaleigh and Musa had ended the letter with an implied threat to resign.
Of course, the appointment went through and Musa sent the second letter, hand-written for greater confidentiality, to inform Dr Mahathir that he intended to resign as Deputy Prime Minister.
It played right into Dr Mahathir’s own long-term survival plans.
In hindsight, Musa was such a political naivete – he had beaten Tengku Razaleigh for the Umno No.2 post by a credible margin, he was the Deputy Prime Minister and he was resigning because his rival was back in the Cabinet. That was so weird, to say the least.
Musa became the first of four deputies under Dr Mahathir. They were like bridesmaids of whom only one eventually reached the altar only to be pushed down the steps all too soon.
The above episode shows that there is no such thing as private letters in politics. Secondly, it shows that Dr Mahathir has the memory of an elephant. All those instances when he claimed he could not remember are probably memory lapses of convenience.
Thirdly, it seemed like Musa had forgotten about the incriminating letters or perhaps he was also suffering a spell of selective recall.
And finally, Dr Mahathir is such a combative man. It was obvious that he was trying to take the mickey out of Musa but was it really necessary to embarrass Musa this way after all these years?
Anyway, Musa was also guilty of contradictory behaviour. Despite complaining about Tengku Razaleigh, he ganged up with the Kelantan Prince three years later to take on Dr Mahathir and Tun Ghafar Baba in an epic fight for the leadership of Umno.
Dr Mahathir won narrowly by 43 votes, leading Tengku Razaleigh to scorn him as the “one-busload president”. Those in the Mahathir circle say he has never forgiven Tengku Razaleigh for challenging him.
Ghafar has passed on. Musa is 82 and, in his own words, in his twilight years. Tengku Razaleigh, 79, has talked about calling it a day.
But Dr Mahathir at 91 is still going strong, picking fights with politicians past and present and still trying to determine who should be the next Prime Minister.
Top photo-journalist Minag Jinggo who has been on the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia ceramah trail has been constantly amazed that Dr Mahathir has been able to keep the pace, travelling from state to state to address the rural Malay crowd.
At a recent ceramah in Shah Alam, Dr Mahathir announced he would be attending the Bersih rally in November. He also defended the rally against critics, slamming Datuk Jamal Yunos, the leader of the Baju Merah group, as “Jamal Jamban”.
The mostly pro-opposition crowd loved it but Datuk Wan Albakri Mohd Nor, a one-time Mahathir admirer, walked out midway through Dr Mahathir’s speech.
“I thought he would talk about big issues but he was condemning the Election Commission for the redelineation exercise. What’s wrong with this man? In his time, he did the same thing,” said Wan Albakri.
Dr Mahathir has made a complete U-turn in his views on issues, people and politics – all thanks to his hatred for Najib.
According to Kapar Umno division chief Datuk Faizal Abdullah, the biggest turn-off for many in Umno is the new alliance between Dr Mahathir and DAP.
“They cannot accept Dr Mahathir holding hands with Lim Kit Siang and DAP. Throughout his career, he told us how destructive and racist DAP was. He used to talk about DAP as though it was ‘haram’ (forbidden), we should not even touch or go near them. And now everything is okay for him,” said Faizal.
That’s politics, as they say. – The Star
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