Dr Mahathir:"Badawi was totally incompetent" !!
"Najib inherited a bad government. He is better than number five (Badawi) who was totally incompetent,"
- Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Speaking on the sidelines of an international forum at Kuala Lumpur today, Mahathir spared no mercy for Abdullah, who was his handpicked successor, saying that the latter had wasted the strong mandate he received in the 2004 general election.
"When you have two-thirds majority, it should be used for doing the right things. In the four years, 2004 to 2008 (Abdullah) did the wrong things (so) in 2008 he lost it," he said.
Prime Minister Najib Razak will have an uphill battle regaining two-thirds majority in Parliament in the next general election, no thanks to the lacklustre performance of his predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, says Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The former prime minister said Najib was trying to put things right and having a difficult time to do that as he inherited a bad government .
"(You) see, sometimes he (Najib) fails, sometimes he succeeds. Sometimes he has good ideas and sometimes his ideas are not so good. That is to be expected," he told reporters after delivering the keynote address at the International Forum on The Creation of Global Citizens: Media Liberation and New Political Realities today.
Mahathir hoped Najib could garner the support from the people because "the alternative has somebody who is worse and will spoil things if he has power".
On the new political model mooted by Najib for Umno's continuity as the pillar of the government, Mahathir said what were crucial were not systems or consensus but individuals who could control the situation.
"Nothing good will happen if the individuals are bad, although the systems are good," he said.
On the National Union of Journalists' (NUJ) proposal that they should be allowed to regulate themselves using a media council as the mechanism instead of the Home Ministry having the say, he said they could do that but would not have the strength if people broke the regulations.
"That is why the government have a say in it. You can still control just like you a have a club, which has by-laws and you're supposed to regulate your club functions. But when you step beyond that, the government has to impose the rules," he said.
On the government's investigation on certain bloggers, Mahathir said while there was press freedom, the government was also free to investigate such cases and ultimately, an independent body would make the decision.