KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s latest U-turn and backing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be prime minister demonstrated the former’s panic following the cabinet’s decision to form a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate the truth behind the Bank Negara RM30 billion forex losses during his premiership, said Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
The prime minister said Dr Mahathir knew that the RCI findings could lead to criminal prosecution and he could not afford to have individuals highly relevant to the case such as Anwar testifying against him.
“It is ironic that Dr Mahathir now needs Anwar, the man he sacked and jailed. Just as he now needs Lim Kit Siang, another man he jailed, because in reality Kit Siang controls the opposition as DAP have the vast majority of Parliamentary seats – whereas Dr Mahathir’s party has just one,” he said in a statement.
Najib pointed out that as Dr Mahathir knew well, Anwar could not legally contest, so this U-turn was not about the coming general election.
“Mahathir’s crusade is motivated not by the national interest, but by selfish personal interest. He is obsessed by saving his family legacy and making his son Mukhriz Mahathir Prime Minister,” said Najib.
“Mahathir demanded Tun Abdullah Badawi resign as Prime Minister, now demands my resignation, and will demand my successor resigns until his son becomes Prime Minister, whatever the cost to Malaysia,” Najib added.
According to Najib, the latest U-turn came after 20 years of Dr Mahathir vilifying Anwar and using every possible means at his disposal to eliminate Anwar from the political process, including arresting him under the now-repealed Internal Security Act, prosecuting and jailing him and a sustained campaign to attack his moral character.
“He has no principles and will do anything – including allying with those he jailed, calling for foreign intervention in our sovereign democratic nation, sabotaging our economy, and making 100 U-turns if so required to manipulate people’s minds – just as a means to achieve his desired ends.
“Anwar may fall for this, but I believe the nation will not. Because with only one Parliamentary seat, the Chairman of Pribumi cannot decide who becomes Prime Minister. It would be grossly undemocratic,” Najib said.
The Prime Minister pointed out that nothing was more important than the needs of the people.
“So the government under my leadership will continue to focus unwaveringly on the economic welfare, social wellbeing and security of all Malaysians. Their interests must always come first, and we will deliver on our promises,” he added. –Bernama