Malaysia election: Go teach in the villages, Mahathir tells PAS President Hadi Awang in tit-for-tat row

Dr Mahathir Mohamad (left) said PAS (Parti Islam SeMalaysia) president Abdul Hadi Awang has zero political knowledge and is unfit to lead any government, reported the Malay Mail.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad (left) said PAS (Parti Islam SeMalaysia) president Abdul Hadi Awang has zero political knowledge and is unfit to lead any government, reported the Malay Mail. PHOTOS: REUTERS, ST FILE

PETALING JAYA - Dr Mahathir Mohamad has issued a scathing response to the suggestion from PAS (Parti Islam SeMalaysia ) president Abdul Hadi Awang that the former prime minister become a doctor at 1Malaysia clinics instead of contesting in the upcoming polls.

Dr Mahathir said on Tuesday Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi has zero political knowledge and is unfit to lead any government, reported the Malay Mail.

 

"He doesn't know anything about politics, what more on administration. Just look at what happened to Terengganu under his leadership," he said in reference to Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi's single term as chief minister of the state from 1999 to 2004.

"He should not have joined politics in the first place. He should just be an ustaz at some kampung. (This would) suit him well," Dr Mahathir said after chairing a presidential council meeting of opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan (PH) at Menara Yayasan Selangor on Tuesday (April 17).

"I think he should study more, so his understanding of Islam can grow deeper. Then he can come back here and if he's clever, we'll let him be a lecturer in Universiti Islam," he said.

Dr Mahathir's remark was a retort to Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi's recent remarks that the 93-year-old should serve as a government doctor at Klinik 1Malaysia instead of contesting in Malaysia's upcoming 14th general election.

At a talk in Juru, Penang, on Monday, the PAS leader reportedly said that Dr Mahathir should use his medical expertise for charity at the federal government's 1Malaysia clinics instead of spending his advanced age in politics again.

Dr Mahathir announced on Sunday he would contest in Langkawi.

He also said on Tuesday he had always planned to contest in Langkawi despite eyeing Kubang Pasu and Putrajaya, too.

 
 

He said he could win any of the three seats, but chose to take on Umno in Langkawi.

"Even from early on, I intended to contest in Langkawi, where Umno won (with a majority of) 11,000 votes. We want to see how many they will get," he said.

He was responding to a question on why he chose to contest in Langkawi instead of the other two areas, reported The Star.

Dr Mahthir also took a shot at Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) treasurer-general Datuk Seri S. Vell Paari after the latter criticised him for not being able to "save a business", referring to the closure of Dr Mahathir's bakery The Loaf.

Dr Mahathir claimed the bakery could not continue its business because of the country's poor economy, which he blamed on Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak's leadership. MIC is a component party of the ruling coalition.

"If Najib was not the prime minister and the economy is good, The Loaf could have stayed in business.

"Things are so bad now. Not just The Loaf, many other bigger businesses have shut down and foreign investors have also pulled out," he said.

Datuk Seri Najib has said it was "truly illogical" to blame him for the closure of The Loaf bakery. He said the blame game is the usual opposition way of pointing fingers at the government for everything that went wrong, according to Malaysiakini news site.

The Loaf, which opened its first outlet in Langkawi in 2006, ceased operations on April 12.