Nazri: Govt need not be afraid to act against Dr Mahathir
KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — Authorities should not hesitate to investigate Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over his remarks out of deference for the former prime minister, said Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.
The former Padang Renggas MP said Dr Mahathir would have no qualms taking action against dissenters if he had the power, adding that he knew as he had once been in the latter’s Cabinet.
“The government need not be afraid to take action against Mahathir even though he is an ex-PM,” Nazri was quoted as saying by Astro Awani.
“If this were during Mahathir’s time as PM, anyone who wanted to hold gatherings critical of the government would have been treated as anti-establishment. In his time, they would have been held under the ISA (Internal Security Act).”
Nazri, who is now the Malaysian ambassador to the US, said Dr Mahathir was trying to portray himself again as a defender of the Malay community due to losing in the 15th general election.
In that poll, Dr Mahathir lost his deposit along with all 125 candidates who contested on the ticket of Parti Pejuang Tanahair, which he founded after being kicked out of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia that he formed following his resignation from Umno.
Nazri said that during the 22 months Dr Mahathir returned as the prime minister, the latter had mocked and insulted the Malays, calling them lazy, among other things.
“Now when he is powerless, defeated badly and having lost his election deposit, he wants to make it seem like he is the one who cares most about the Malays.
“There is no Malay who wants to believe Dr Mahathir anymore,” he was further quoted as saying.
Earlier, Dr Mahathir continued his allegation that the Anwar administration had “banned” the abortive Malay Proclamation event last weekend, allegedly because it wanted to prevent the Malays from talking about race and religion.
The Royal Malaysia Police and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) issued separate warnings against incitement on racial and religious grounds, but no authority including the prime minister has said the Malay Proclamation gathering was banned.
The event was called off after three successive venues cancelled on the organisers. Dr Mahathir admitted there was no evidence Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was involved, but insisted it was possible.
Previously, he also called Anwar a dictator over the same matter.