‘Na­jib rec­ti­fy­ing Ma­hathir’s poli­cies’

> Democ­racy now bet­ter than dur­ing term of for­mer pre­mier, says Rah­man Dahlan


PETALING JAYA: Op­pres­sive laws used by for­mer pre­mier Tun Dr Ma­hathir Mo­hamad to sup­press those who went against him were abol­ished by Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Ab­dul Razak, said Barisan Na­sional (BN) strate­gic com­mu­ni­ca­tions direc­tor Datuk Ab­dul Rah­man Dahlan.

“Laws like the In­ter­nal Se­cu­rity Act were abol­ished by Na­jib. The free­dom to ex­press one’s ob­jec­tion was made part of the law for the first time, through the Peace­ful Assem­bly Act.

“The coun­try’s democ­racy has re­turned to fer­tile ground in a way that was never felt un­der the ad­min­is­tra­tion of Ma­hathir,” he said in a state­ment yes­ter­day.

Ab­dul Rah­man, who is also a min­is­ter in the Prime Min­is­ter’s De­part­ment, said it was “stag­ger­ing” to hear Ma­hathir talk about democ­racy.

He said Ma­hathir was up­set over the fail­ure of his joint ef­forts with the Op­po­si­tion in the elec­tions, adding that the rakyat no longer cares about a for­mer el­der states­man.

The two re­cent by-elec­tions and the Sarawak state elec­tion was proof of such, with BN se­cur­ing a larger ma­jor­ity com­pared to the pre­vi­ous elec­tions, Ab­dul Rah­man said.

He also crit­i­cised op­po­si­tion lead­ers for tak­ing lessons on democ­racy from Ma­hathir, whom he claimed had him­self con­fessed to be a dic­ta­tor when he was prime min­is­ter.

“It’s ironic that even the top op­po­si­tion lead­ers like Datuk Seri An­war Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng, who were all once im­pris­oned dur­ing Ma­hathir’s era, are now tak­ing democ­racy lessons from him.

“(For­mer law min­is­ter) Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who once ac­cused Ma­hathir of de­stroy­ing the coun­try’s le­gal sys­tem and ju­di­cial in­de­pen­dence, is now ask­ing the lat­ter to re­turn to power,” he said.

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