KUALA LUMPUR: In the case of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s u-turn with regards to not objecting former Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim as Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim remarked that this is ‘vintage Mahathir’.
“What has emerged is the vintage Mahathir. A man for whom truth is inconvenient,” Tunku Abdul Aziz told Malaysia Outlook today.
“In this case, Mahathir’s cynicism has come through brilliantly. As a man who dies not put any stock by honesty, by truth, he has shown himself to be a cynical bankrupt politician who is trying to reinvent himself, when he has lost all moral capital to lead this country,” the former DAP national vice chairman said.
Tunku Abdul Aziz said this in response to an interview Mahathir gave in London recently, in which the latter expressed support for the man he once threw out of politics and into court, to be given a royal pardon.
Speaking to The UK Guardian, Mahathir claimed that in the case of Anwar’s current incarceration for sodomy, the latter was being unfairly treated and that the decision by the court was ‘obviously influenced by the government’.
“I think the incoming government would be able to persuade the King to give a full pardon for Anwar in which case he would be able to participate in politics and become PM.
“I can have no objection to that,” Mahathir was quoted as saying by The Guardian in an article published yesterday.
Tunku Abdul Aziz asked if a royal pardon is equivalent to records of conviction being completely expunged.
“He is merely leading the rakyat up the garden path,” Tunku Abdul Aziz said.
Commenting on Anwar’s fall back in 1998 at Mahathir’s hands, Tunku Abdul Aziz said Mahathir at the time knew very well that the only way he could get the Malay Muslim support, and in particular Umno support, was by raking up the issue of sodomy.
“Malays can accept anything else; abuse of power, corruption and other indiscretions, but they draw the line when it comes to unnatural sex, in this case, sodomy.
“So he (Mahathir) was on firm ground as far as his own credibility was concerned.
“This was a great sin and Mahathir played up the question of whether Anwar was the kind of man Malaysians wanted as their Prime Minister,” Tunku Abdul Aziz said, referring to Mahathir sacking Anwar in 1998, and Anwar’s first sodomy trial.
“However on Anwar’s second sodomy charge, Mahathir is now saying it is politically motivated,” he added. – MO