It’s not I who used them, ex-PM claims

New Straits Times - - News - SOO WERN JUN KUALA LUMPUR wern.jun@nst.com.my

TUN Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad claimed the Malays and Umno have used him and not the other way around when he was in power as Umno pres­i­dent and prime min­is­ter.

In an in­ter­view with The Malaysian In­sight on Thurs­day, the for­mer prime min­is­ter claimed that he had not per­son­ally ben­e­fited from be­ing leader of the party and the na­tion for 22 years.

“If I have used Umno, what are the bad things that I have done? The truth is, it is the Malays who have used me,” he told the on­line news por­tal.

The Parti Pribumi Ber­satu Malaysia chair­man said this in re­sponse to al­le­ga­tions by Deputy Prime Min­is­ter and Umno vicepres­i­dent Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi that he had cham­pi­oned the “Malay agenda” dur­ing his time in power in or­der to make use of the Malays and Umno.

Re­spond­ing to Dr Ma­hathir’s claims, Umno Supreme Coun­cil mem­ber Datuk Mohd Puad Zarkashi said the for­mer Umno pres­i­dent would not have been able to stay in power for 22 years if he did not use the Malays and Umno.

“Dr Ma­hathir ex­ploited the Malay and Is­lamic sen­ti­ments, in or­der to in­flu­ence the Malays and Umno to keep him in power.

“As a dic­ta­tor, Dr Ma­hathir used the Malays and Umno as sup­port in his move to fire the chief jus­tice and sev­eral other High Court judges.

“With­out the use of the Malays and Umno, it is im­pos­si­ble that Dr Ma­hathir could amend the Con­sti­tu­tion to re­duce the power of the Con­fer­ence of Rulers,” he said.

He added that all these were ef­forts done to make him a pow­er­ful dic­ta­tor and ben­e­fited him greatly.

“That is why he was able to im­ple­ment the “crony cap­i­tal­ism” pol­icy that brought riches to only cer­tain in­di­vid­u­als, in­clud­ing his chil­dren.

“Dr Ma­hathir’s claims are un­rea­son­able be­cause even to­day, Dr Ma­hathir is us­ing the Malays to bring down Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak so that his son can be­come the next prime min­is­ter,” he said.

An­other Umno Supreme Coun­cil mem­ber Datuk Seri Ab­dul Rah­man Dahlan said it did not make sense for Dr Ma­hathir to make such claims.

“There is some­thing wrong with you if you had al­lowed peo­ple to make use of you for 22 years,” said Rah­man, who is also min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter’s Depart­ment.

“How is it that you had al­lowed peo­ple to use you and did not do some­thing about it for that long?”

Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad

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