Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad should take the blame for the country’s mess by apologising to entire Malaysians said Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy.
In a statement issued today, Waythamoorthy pointed out that his 22 year administration took all measures to imprison his critics and opponents.
In listing down some of his errors during his tenure, Waythamoorthy queried whether Mahathir can be trusted to lead the so called “Save Malaysia” campaign?
Among the errors highlighted by Hindraf:
a) His arbitrary arrests and detentions of many political opponents under the ISA and Official Secrets Act on many occasions especially for his own political survival how he would hone to perfection and use a gamut of archaic repressive laws.
b) His arrests besides politician were environmentalist, consumer association spokesmen and suspension of publication of The Star, The Sunday Star, Watan, Sin Chew Jit Poh under the Operasi Lalang to divert the attention of the public of his own Umno’s infighting.
c) His interference in the Malaysian Judiciary which saw the Chief Justice and several top Federal court judges suspended and sacked. The way he went about colluding with Justice Hamid Omar a senior Federal Court Judge tarnished the reputation and the integrity of the judiciary till this day.
d) In March 1988, he made constitutional amendments to Article 121 and Article 145 which effectively took away the power of the judiciary that was embedded in the constitution and handed it over to Parliament through statutes. The power of judicial review too was removed. Hence he virtually modified the separation of powers where Judiciary was stripped of its independence and power overnight.
e) He banned various independent foreign journalists and has records of charging them with various offences.
f) The displacement of the estate workers was rampant during his leadership and he failed to provide socio-economic reliefs to the 800,000 Indians displaced from the estates. He ordered the city councils to demolish the Hindu temples and Hindu grave yards which existed for almost 150 years in the estates.
g) It was Mahathir who caused the serious rise in discrimination against the Non- Malays which has caused racism to be entrenched in the administration of the government and yet he would stand next to Nelson Mandela to declare his anti-apartheid vehemence.
“So what institutional change is he talking about now?
“Has he specified what he intends to change and the reasons behind other than vague statements and hope?
“Politics is more than the eyes could see and the mind could perceive. Should one support him blindly for the sake of removing the present premier and replacing him with another.
“Politics is a strange and dangerous game,” added Waytha.
However, Hindraf welcomes the open apology made by Mahathir for amending the Federal Constitution by removing the need for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s signature and approval in lawmaking.
Mahathir in his blog chedet.cc wrote an article ‘Apology’ expressed that he made such an amendment during his tenure as former prime minister.