Mahathir Mohamad’s claim that the government will declare a state of emergency and suspend Parliament if it marginally loses in the next general election was actually the former premier’s ‘back-up plan’ back in 1999.
This was alleged by Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz in a report by Free Malaysia Today.
The Umno supreme council member alleged that Mahathir was “stating out loud something” if the same fate had befallen him in the 1999 election.
“We have never declared a state of emergency. He is the only one capable of doing so,” Nazri was quoted by the news portal as saying.
Barisan had won 148 parliamentary seats in 1999. Anwar Ibrahim had been sacked as deputy prime minister a year earlier.
Mahathir had written in his blog that the opposition might face the possibility of the election being declared null and void if Barisan lost by a small margin, leading to a possibility that a state of emergency to be declared and parliament suspended.
Nazri also said that it was during Mahathir’s rule that Ops Lalang, that involved detaining individuals without trial under the Internal Security Act, was carried out.