The Malaysian Insider
21 August 2014
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should look beyond the flattering news articles about him and instead focus on the huge impact Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed’s withdrawal of support has wrought on the country, a former minister said.
Ex-information minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin said that the former prime minister’s criticisms again Najib and his administration had spread like a wave through all corners of society.
“Behind the support plastered across newspapers today after Dr Mahathir rejected him, Najib must obtain a valid and truthful report on how great the wave blown by Dr Mahathir is.
“It has enveloped the entire nation, villages and towns, the upper and lower levels, schools and universities,” Zainuddin wrote on his blog today.
On Monday, Dr Mahathir said he was withdrawing his support for Najib and his administration as his criticism had fallen on deaf ears.
“I have tried to give my views to him directly, which are also the views of many people who have met me,” said the country’s longest-serving prime minister on his popular blog, chedet.cc.
“This has not been effective so I have to criticise. I have no choice but to withdraw my support,”?
But the following day, Malaysian newspapers were silent over the attacks, suggesting that editors had deliberately muffled any criticisms against Najib.
This was despite Dr Mahathir lashing out at government supporters for not speaking out against Najib’s policies.
“Many of the policies, approaches and actions by the government under Najib has destroyed interracial ties, the economy and the country’s finances,” Dr Mahathir wrote on Monday.
“This is all because government supporters have never criticised their leaders.”
Dr Mahathir said Najib’s slide began when the latter listened to his “enemies’ demands” and repealed the Internal Security Act in 2011 and the Restrictive Residents Act, which allowed the government to detain anyone, including suspected criminals, without trial.
Zainuddin today called on all Umno divisions to save their president by urging him to bring back the controversial ISA once they convene this November for the Umno general assembly.
He said abolishing the ISA was a big mistake on Najib’s part, as it allowed certain “anti-national quarters to insult and belittle the Federal Constitution”.
“I understand that Najib’s move not only shocked the rakyat, but it disappointed the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the police, who had advised him to make amendments, and not abolish it,” said Zainuddin.
He said Najib put an end to the ISA to build a name for himself internationally, without taking into account the sentiments of Malaysians.
“This is the same with Khairy (Jamaluddin) who showed up at the protest over Gaza in London because he felt it would boost his image compared with joining the protests in Malaysia,” said Zainuddin.
But he added that “Najib is not Khairy”, and understood the prime minister well from his days as Utusan Malaysia’s editor-in-chief.
“There is no reason for Najib to feel guilty or worried his dignity will be compromised if he retracts his mistake.
“On the contrary, his image will return to its peak and become stronger if he is willing to right his wrongs, which have emboldened Malaysians to become ruder and tarnish the purity of the Constitution,” he wrote. – August 21, 2014.