Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dr.M: Abdullah responsible if Anwar becomes PM

The Edge
April 22, 2008

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi ought to be responsible if Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim becomes the country’s leader one day, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

In an interview on BBC’s Hard Talk programme yesterday, Dr Mahathir told presenter Stephen Sackur it would be Abdullah’s fault if the alleged defections by Barisan Nasional members of parliament to the opposition were true, and Anwar succeeded in becoming a prime minister.

“He (Anwar) is welcomed to question me if he becomes prime minister one day, but it should be the prime minister, the present leader that should be blamed, because he couldn’t even get the loyalty of his own members,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also said Abdullah’s judicial reform was a political move to rid of his unpopularity at the moment.

“He is not dismantling the system. He is making use of the system in a worse way (and) he has misled his supporters into believing that if he holds the election this year, he will win with a clean sweep,” Dr Mahathir said.

He also denied that the vote swing to the opposition at the 12th general election on March 8 was caused by the unhappiness of the nation over the country’s administrative system.

“The ideology had been there for the last 50 years and it had worked very well. The results from this election were due to dissatisfaction with the present leadership,” Dr Mahathir said.

When asked if it was his fundamental lack of judgment for choosing Abdullah as his successor, Dr Mahathir said: “Yes, I admit that, but we all make mistakes.”

However, he said he would continue to be a strong critic of Abdullah’s administration and Umno.

“Why should I be quiet? You mean, when they are doing something wrong to my country, I should not say anything? I would be irresponsible if I were to do that,” he said.

He also claimed that Anwar was being “opportunistic” when he called for affirmative action for all Malaysians now, as Anwar “never did anything” for the country when he was in government.

On the infamous Lingam tape, Dr Mahathir denied he was involved in fixing the appointment of judges and claimed Anwar had made the recordings to blackmail V K Lingam.

“Did he (Lingam) mention my name? This tape came from Anwar. Anwar has this tape recorded to blackmail the lawyer,” he said.

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