Mahathir playing for very high stakes – attacks “several unsavoury characters” in Najib Cabinet

Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has opened fire on the Najib premiership, expressing his disappointment that Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Cabinet appointments include several “unsavoury characters”.

In his blog, Mahathir said the inclusion of these “unsavoury characters who had been accused of being corrupt while in the previous government” had negated any desire to rid Umno of blatantly corrupt politicians.

Mahathir said the Najib administration should be aware it has less than three years to regain the support of the public and that it had missed a good opportunity for regaining public backing for BN by “excluding dubious characters.”

Mahathir’s disapproval of the Najib Cabinet has intensified in a matter of days.

Only last week, Mahathir was prepared to give grudging approval for the Najib Cabinet, describing it as “more or less graft free” and praise for Najib – that he “did very well by dropping most of the people who have been accused of corruption, although one or two slipped in”.

By yesterday however, the “one or two” has ballooned to “several unsavoury characters who had been accused of being corrupt while in the previous government” – although it is not clear whether he meant only the Abdullah premiership y or included his own premiership as well!

Be that as it may, as 25 of the 29 Ministers in the Najib Cabinet had been in a previous government, which is a high percentage of over 86 per cent for such a small group of people, the integrity of every Minister is impugned and everyone of these 25 Ministers must clear their reputation, whether by challenging Mahathir to publicly name the “unsavoury characters” in the Najib Cabinet or collectively taking the former Prime Minister to court for defamation.

The Mahathir attack on “unsavoury characters” and “dubious” personalities in the Najib Cabinet is the latest in a lengthening list of at least 20 setbacks suffered by Najib in the first two weeks of his premiership. I will enumerate these setbacks at a DAP dinner in Kulai tomorrow.

In just two weeks, the momentum of euphoria and “feel good” factor of a new Prime Minister has fast dissipated.

It has enabled Mahathir to adopt a “holier than thou” stance, writing in his blog: “From the complaints I hear today, corruption especially in the government party has reached record levels during the tenure of the last PM.”

This is supreme irony. When Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi succeeded Mahathir as Prime Minister in October 2003, he came in as “Mr. Clean” and was given an unprecedented mandate in the March 2004 general election to be a modern-day Justice Bao “to clean up the Augean stables”.

But Abdullah not only failed to “walk the talk” to wage an all-out war against graft, corruption became even worse to allow his predecessor to now turn the table against “Mr. Clean” and declare with a straight face that “corruption especially in the government party has reached record levels during the tenure of the last PM”.

Mahathir’s indictment cannot be denied as this is also borne out by Malaysia’s worsening ranking in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index with its precipitous fall from No. 37 in 2003 to No. 47 in 2008.

However, Mahathir is the last person with the moral right and integrity to pass judgment on the rampant corruption in Malaysian public life today, as it was during his 22-year premiership that the rot in Malaysian public life and national institutions set in to reach the present-day dimension and magnitude.

But Mahathir is playing for very high stakes – not only in determining the men and women in the Najib Cabinet but also as the eminence grise in the Najib government for the full-throttled return of Mahathirism, including the restoration of the multi-billion ringgit “crooked scenic half-bridge” to replace Malaysia’s half of the Johore-Singapore causeway.

  1. #1 by k1980 on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 12:21 pm

    unsavoury characters and dubious personalities? Hmm… does he mean the mighty Mongol slayer?

  2. #2 by dawsheng on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 12:36 pm

    Mahathir criticizes Najib’s cabinet is something that will never make sense, it is just the pot calling the kettle black. High stakes? Mahathir can go to hell for all I care.

  3. #3 by harmanamri on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 12:37 pm

    \Several\ unsavoury characters? So..three or more, not just \one or two\ who managed to slip in, per his earlier comments on the matter. Why can’t he just name them? If he truly wants Najib and Muhyiddin to succeed, he should expose these unsavoury characters immediately before they can do further damage to the country being given positions in the Cabinet.

  4. #4 by Mai on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 12:38 pm

    Mahathir points his fingers as he says ….. don’t all his other fingers point at that same unsavoury character who is the President of the Unsavoury Characters Club

  5. #5 by Ken G on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 12:46 pm

    Let me guess, those ‘unsavoury characters’ are aligned to the ex-PM right? You mean to tell me the rest are clean?

    I guess Najib’s tenure is going to be a stormy one. The retired old man doesn’t want to be the power behind the throne…no, no, he wants to be in the driver’s seat!

    Flushed with his success of forcing down Abdullah, he has become bolder and is going for broke.

    This is heading for a SHOWDOWN!!

  6. #6 by hiro on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 12:48 pm

    TDM is setting himself or whoever he will eventually support the “really clean” image to replace Najib. After the by-elections where his campaigning for Najib is ineffective, he must have thought that Najib is damaged goods – he’s now moving to replace him.

    Guess what, TDM, out of power, is still singing “My Way”.

  7. #7 by limkamput on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 12:51 pm

    The government will never be clean unless he or his son is appointed PM, got it? Sdr Lim, I wonder why you continue giving prominence and credence to this father of all ills in this country. As a common saying goes, when a person points a finger at others, at least three fingers are pointed to himself. I think we have had enough of him. Are we not still suffering from the consequences of what he did to the judiciary years ago? Enough, let him talking to himself.

  8. #8 by ALLAN THAM on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 1:06 pm

    This old hat was the master of all corrupts.

  9. #9 by kluangman on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 1:07 pm

    Apa yang Tun sarankan ialah selari dengan kehendak pembangkang untuk mengusir Najib sebagai PM kerana percaya atas keterlibatannya dengan kes pembunuhan Altantuya.

    Apa yang tidak selari dengan pembangkang ialah Tun tidak mencadangkan Lim Kit Siang atau anaknya atau Anwar Ibrahim sebagai pengganti Najib.

  10. #10 by bennylohstocks on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 1:25 pm

  11. #11 by taiking on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 1:55 pm

    Oi old chap. Cant you see that najib really has no choice. Yang boleh reuse dan recycle pun dah reuse recycle. Yang boleh dilantik melalui pintu belakang pun dah dilantik juga. You ingat najib tak tahu ka siapa that two fellas are. Actually more than two got problem. Not just two. Kalau betul betul nak clean habis umno. No suitable candidate. Langsung takda. Masalah dia banyak. Tengok. India minta lebih menteri. China kata 10 orang. Tidak boleh kurang. Now bidayuh also minta jawatan menteri. You also minta jawatan menteri kasi anak. Kepala dia pening. Tahu tak? Tak tahu apa boleh dibuat sekarang. Backside dia pun sakit sebab kerusi tak selesa. Lagipu memang tak biasa duduk kerusi sebab dah biasa duduk atas pagar. Tunjuklah symphaty sikit. Sabarlah sikit. Berilah masa sikit. OK?

  12. #12 by ekompute on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 2:18 pm

    The article at entitled “Mahathir’s Black Eyes” says:

    “Mahathir’s three sons Mukhriz, Mokhzani and Mirzan, better known in Kuala Lumpur’s corporate circles as `the boys’, and his two daughters, Marina and Melinda, are conservatively estimated to be worth at least three billion ringgit. `The Boys’ hold well over 200 company directorships and interests in an array of businesses, many of them publicly listed.”

    Public service nowadays is indeed a very lucrative vocation. No wonder many people are scrambling to do public service.

  13. #13 by Orang_hutan on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 2:28 pm

    This old hat will stop criticize only when his son becomes PM.

  14. #14 by i_love_malaysia on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 2:30 pm

    PR should thank TDM for his wonderful works in publishing all the dirts of the BN govt. Without him, all the dirts wont surface out so easily. With his credibility, people will believe what he said more than others!!! But believe him only on dirty things of the BN govt and not on PR OK!!! Long live TDM!!!

  15. #15 by ctc537 on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 2:33 pm

    By appointing his son as a deputy minister, PM Najib has already said a big “thank you’ to TDM. PM Najib should ignore him. Malaysians should ask themselves why are there endless criticisms from TDM? Is it ridiculous to suspect that could it be that TDM wants to be appointed as a Senator to enable him to become PM for a few years before passing the baton to his son?

  16. #16 by frankyapp on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 2:39 pm

    TDM has always done thing according to his vim and fancy during his more than two decades watch.He’s like a stubborn mule.He thinks he still has the might to deter term and condition ,like he did to AAB and succeeded ,thus now continues to gear his power to manipulate NR to satisfy his greed and recognition of power.As a 80 old plus ex prime minister,now made a TUN,I think he should retired now graciously before he finds it too late to redeem his salvation. Anyone thinks what’s his inner agenda to accuse and attach NR ?

  17. #17 by sheriff singh on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 3:07 pm

    Unsavoury Members National Organisation?

    If the very top carries with it alot of unsavoury baggages, can we expect the downline to be any different? Will the unsavoury leadership be able to lead in such circumstances?

    However, on what basis is this Tun (so many Tuns these days) judging others? Is he using himself as the benchmark and if so, why does he think he and his standards were and are the perfect ones for all to emulate?

    A big chunk of the current “leadership” also served under the Tun’s administration and if they were “good” then, are they still “good” now? If not, pray tell us where these people have failed us so we can kick them out pronto.

    It is good to see one of the Tun’s lackeys emerging from the woodwork to give Najib a broadside today. This fellow is always good for laughs. You can always count on it. Way to go Matthias, way to go!!

  18. #18 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 4:55 pm

    ///frankyapp Says:
    Today at 14: 39.42 (2 hours ago)

    TDM has always done thing according to his vim and fancy during his more than two decades watch.///

    frankyapp – if only it is to his vim and fancy – at least the vim part of give him some vigour. The problem with him is that he shoots at his whim and fancy.

  19. #19 by TheWrathOfGrapes on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 4:59 pm

    /// sheriff singh Says:
    Today at 15: 07.43 (1 hour ago)
    Unsavoury Members National Organisation? ///

    Good one, sheriff.

    Dear everyone – please propagate and promulgate – henceforth UMNO shall be known as Unsavoury Members National Organisation.

    Better still, let it be known as:
    Unsavoury Melayu Nationalistic Organisation

  20. #20 by jayenjr on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 5:16 pm

    Dear YB

    I notice that the new PM, after coining the 1 Malaysia term, has been very silent in his tenure thus far in office. Apart from the openng address, he was practically missing in action in the recent by-elections, he was missing in action when another case of potential police abuse was highlighted, he was missing in action when his Deputy made his remarks in Utusan, he was missing in action in Bangkok (well, every one were too)…..

    Today, he comes out and remarks that “it is not time for another by-election”, with Penanti in mind.

    Hmmm. Seat getting too hot to handle is it? And with the Great Serpent – Mahathir – continuall wanting to butt in….I don;t think this PM can last..

    What the nation needs now is a leader statesmen – not someone hiding under the wife’s skirt or the office label of PM.

  21. #21 by dapforever on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 5:21 pm

    i think now Tun M want to bring down Najib…he wants to be PM again….Return of Mahaterism…

  22. #22 by ekans on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 5:40 pm

    Suspect that what the old doctor meant by ‘unsavoury characters’ are those inidviduals who were critical of him (the old doctor) when the Kepala Batas MP was in charge…

  23. #23 by sotong on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 5:57 pm

    This guy thinks that nobody, before and after him, could come close to his ” achievements “……….there is no suitable replacement, our country is in big trouble.

  24. #24 by yhsiew on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 7:02 pm

    Najib, as elected Prime Minister, should exercise his own independent judgment in administering the country. I am sure he has his own ideals and way of working things out. His image as Prime Minister will be tarnished, if each time he needs to depend on Tun Dr M for an answer when faced with a problem.

    Najib can seek Tun Dr M’s opinion on certain matters but I see no reason why he should kowtow to Tun Dr M and give in to his demand.

  25. #25 by Taxidriver on Friday, 17 April 2009 - 11:44 pm

    When asked whether he was happy with son Muhkriz’s appointment as a deputy minister, he said yes. But, of course, that answer was far from the truth as revealed by that forced-grin on his face. He was given to believe by Najib that his son would be made a full minister of an important post, most probably as education minister. However, it is not clear why Najib changed his mind and gave it to Muhyiddin instead. What greater disappointment for him when Muhkriz only got a dep. minister’ post!

  26. #26 by monsterball on Saturday, 18 April 2009 - 1:25 am

    Yes…if Najib wants Mahathir to praise him…just approve he crooked bridge.
    His huge commission did not materialized.
    Waited so long….give some to Najib…to wake you to his Master.
    How not get mad..with a sleepy good for nothing adopted son?

  27. #27 by lopez on Saturday, 18 April 2009 - 9:22 am

    dont you is a donkey not a horse

    the horses told me so…

    only donkeys hee haw…. and kick ass if you belittle him

    i could be wrong though it may be a mule , since it is a crossie

    better make jalan for my son first …catch u all later.

  28. #28 by ktteokt on Sunday, 19 April 2009 - 10:38 am

    I thought this old horse has said he wants to RETIRE, why the hell is he still making so much NOISE!

  29. #29 by yokielaw on Monday, 20 April 2009 - 1:48 pm

    YB, we all want to know what happen to the Lingam-Tun M corectx3 case.How come it is quiet now, no more news.Why Bar Council did not pursue this case any more.Is is a closure already?Since it was made known to the world, we want to know the verdict.Royal Enquiry conducted.Verdict known.Tape is authentic.Proof Tun M involved with the rest of his cronies & Lingam as “fixer”, how come there is no legal action against these few, esp Tun M & Lingam?Rakyat in darkness.What about other cases that are still hanging in the air?Razak case, Bala case, lost of record in Immigration(altantuya case), and so many others. All dwindling but not forgotten by the rakyat.Unless these cases are closed, rakyat have no trust in whatever is said.It looks like a political game without truth or evidence.Bring them out!!We want the truth!Just like Soi lek case, there is proof and evidence to it, there is closure and rakyat is satisfied as there is an ending to the story.Every story must have an ending.

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