Malaysian PM Najib chides Mahathir for 'sitting together' with arch enemies

Malaysian PM Najib Razak preparing to deliver his speech during an event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 14, 2016.
Malaysian PM Najib Razak preparing to deliver his speech during an event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on March 14, 2016. PHOTO: EPA
Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad (centre) speaking during a press conference with members of the opposition party in Kuala Lumpur on March 4, 2016.
Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad (centre) speaking during a press conference with members of the opposition party in Kuala Lumpur on March 4, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has hit back at Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for "sitting together" with the very people who had once slammed him as "maha zalim" and "mahafiraun" (despot and great pharoah).

The Prime Minister pointed out that Dr Mahathir had himself faced strong opposition during his leadership.

"I know it's happening and there were a lot of things said about Tun Mahathir during his time too.

"He was addressed as 'maha zalim, mahafiraun' and now they are sitting together on the same table," Mr Najib said in Parliament.

He was answering a question from Ketereh MP Tan Sri Annuar Musa on how Mr Najib was coping with the pressure of the campaign against him.

Dr Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years, recently initiated the Citizen's Declaration calling for the removal of the Prime Minister. Among those who signed the declaration was Democratic Action Party (DAP) leader Lim Kit Siang, a staunch critic of Dr Mahathir.

Mr Najib said he would not be distracted by the attacks on him.

"We are still focused and regardless of the attacks we are committed to carry out our plan.

"Our plan is to ensure that it works and leaves the nation in an established position internationally.

"I believe if we remain consistent, people will appreciate our efforts," he added.

This was followed by a question from Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua, who has asked for explanations on state investor 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the RM2.6 billion (S$866 million) donation in Mr Najib's account.

Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Aman Mulia said the question would not be allowed but added that "it is however up to you if you would like to answer this question Yang Dipertua Pekan (Najib)".

Mr Najib responded by saying he knew there were many waiting for the opportunity to launch these attacks.

"For us what is important is our achievement. Our aim is to get investors into our country and we are doing well.

"Our economic development is one of the largest in the world so I believe that these issues displayed by others appear rather orchestrated," he said.

He added that he would let the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) carry out its investigations and make the decisions.

"My duty is to my people so I am going to let PAC investigate and make the decision.

"It is not about us and I will ensure that the accountability process will still be carried out ," he added.