22 April, 2008

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ought to be responsible if Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim becomes PM ?

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ought to be responsible if Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim becomes the country’s leader one day, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

In an interview on BBC’s Hard Talk programme yesterday, Dr Mahathir told presenter Stephen Sackur it would be Abdullah’s fault if the alleged defections by Barisan Nasional members of parliament to the opposition were true, and Anwar succeeded in becoming a prime minister.

“He (Anwar) is welcomed to question me if he becomes prime minister one day, but it should be the prime minister, the present leader that should be blamed, because he couldn’t even get the loyalty of his own members,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also said Abdullah’s judicial reform was a political move to rid of his unpopularity at the moment.

“He is not dismantling the system. He is making use of the system in a worse way (and) he has misled his supporters into believing that if he holds the election this year, he will win with a clean sweep,” Dr Mahathir said.

He also denied that the vote swing to the opposition at the 12th general election on March 8 was caused by the unhappiness of the nation over the country’s administrative system.

“The ideology had been there for the last 50 years and it had worked very well. The results from this election were due to dissatisfaction with the present leadership,” Dr Mahathir said.

Asked if it was his fundamental lack of judgment for choosing Abdullah as his successor, Dr Mahathir said: “Yes, I admit that, but we all make mistakes.”

However, he said he would continue to be a strong critic of Abdullah’s administration and Umno.

“Why should I be quiet? You mean, when they are doing something wrong to my country, I should not say anything? I would be irresponsible if I were to do that,” he said.

He also claimed that Anwar was being “opportunistic” when he called for affirmative action for all Malaysians now, as Anwar “never did anything” for the country when he was in government.

Meanwhile, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should get used to it, the "Name calling", that is, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad labelled him a coward!

He chastised the deputy prime minister for not joining the chorus of attacks against Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, saying that Najib had been silent on the real reasons why Umno performed badly in Election 2008.

We see that he is a penakut (coward)… He is always saying yes sir, yes sir, saya sokong, saya sokong (I support),” said Dr Mahathir.

The Insider has learnt that Najib was surprised that his former leader was taking personal potshots at him, and indulging in name-calling as well. After all, they have always been close and Dr Mahathir owes the late Tun Abdul Razak a debt of gratitude. It was the country’s second prime minister — Najib’s father — who ended his political wilderness and appointed him a senator in 1972.

The bad news for Najib is that this is war and all decorum and goodwill will take a backseat. The name-calling is going to get worse between now and the party elections in December. The more patient he is with the transition of power from Abdullah and the more loyal he is to the party president, the more vitriol will be flung his way.

That is why some of Najib’s supporters say that he should distance himself from Abdullah now, believing that this would signal the end of attacks on him from Dr Mahathir.

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