I'm not aligned with the opposition, says former Malaysian PM Mahathir

PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has rubbished suggestions that he is aligned with the opposition, saying that he is still very much an Umno member.

He said that if saying something similar to the opposition made him aligned with the opposition, then Prime Minister Najib Razak "must be more" with the opposition because he agreed to abolish the Internal Security Act (ISA), the prevention of crime law and ignore the NEP.

"He also wanted to abolish the Sedition Act, as demanded by the opposition. If Umno did not object, the Sedition Act would have been abolished. So is Najib a member of the opposition?" Dr Mahathir said in his blog chedet.cc yesterday.

Dr Mahathir said he was still an Umno member and that his disagreement was with Datuk Seri Najib and not the party.

"I criticised the leader, not the party. It is simply because I want to see the party win. It will not win if Najib is the leader," he said.

On suggestions that it was unfair of him to ask Mr Najib to step down because he was elected democratically, Dr Mahathir claimed that Mr Najib was instrumental in asking former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step down.

He also said there was nothing wrong with his political agenda because a prime minister should be seen to be clean and able to answer questions.

"Najib cannot even answer and has not answered any question, beyond exercising elegant silence or saying that the allegations are not true," he said.

Dr Mahathir admitted that the country lost money when he was prime minister, but "the people and the whole world knew how the money was lost".

He said the reasons for the losses made by Perwaja Steel, Bank Bumiputra Malaysia Finance and Maminco were known.