PETALING JAYA • Dr Mahathir Mohamad has issued a scathing response to the suggestion from Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) chief Abdul Hadi Awang that the former prime minister become a doctor at the government's 1Malaysia clinics instead of contesting in the upcoming polls.
Dr Mahathir said on Tuesday that Datuk Seri Hadi has zero political knowledge and is unfit to lead any government, the Malay Mail Online news site reported.
"He doesn't know anything about politics, what more on administration. Just look at what happened to Terengganu under his leadership," Dr Mahathir said in reference to Mr 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 (religious teacher) at some kampung. (This would) suit him well," Dr Mahathir said after chairing a presidential council meeting of opposition alliance Pakatan Harapan (PH).
"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, as reported by MMO.
Dr Mahathir's remarks were a retort to Mr Hadi's recent comments that the 92-year-old politician should serve as a government doctor at Klinik 1Malaysia instead of contesting in Malaysia's upcoming 14th general election.
Dr Mahathir is slated to contest a parliament seat in Langkawi island, Kedah.
The PAS leader had reportedly said on Monday 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. Opposition party PAS has been aiming its attacks at the other opposition parties, as the Islamist party has tacked closer to Umno, the party led by Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Speaking on another issue yesterday, Dr Mahathir blamed the poor economy that he said forced his bakery and bistro, The Loaf, to shut its 12 outlets last week.
"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," Dr Mahathir said, according to local media.
PM Najib said on Monday it was "truly illogical" for him to get the blame for the closure of The Loaf.
Mr Najib yesterday suggested there could be other factors at work for the bakery's closure.
"If a business is not doing well or closes down, is it the government's fault? Perhaps the bread didn't taste good or the cost was too high. There could be many reasons," he said, as quoted by Malaysiakini news site.