Sep 4, 2006

Tun Mahathir refuses to be silenced

Extracted from The Brunei Times

FORMER Malaysian Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said he would continue to speak out in criticism of the current government leadership and other matters he had raised because it was necessary for people at the grassroots to be given an explanation from both sides.

Mr Mahathir said there was no reason for those concerned to be afraid of him because if his explanation was wrong, it would be easy to correct it and he would abide by that.

"Compassion, but actually they are in fear. Otherwise, what is wrong in listening to the argument because if one is right, one can easily break the argument," he said.Dr Mahathir said the move to prevent him from meeting with Umno members at the grassroots was not a party culture. He said Umno leaders of today should embolden themselves to listen to arguments put forward by him and not prevent him from speaking by using the reason of compassion.


"If there is any wrong, why not rectify the wrong because it can enable us to close ranks as the struggle is not over yet to help the nation, race and religion.

"People say I am old and senile, unable to talk. Out of compassion, they want me to stay put, on a bed, marking time ... that is not right," he said.

Dr Mahathir also expressed disappointment that in the effort to prevent him from speaking out, some Umno members had resorted to rough language by using words such as "beruk" (ape) and "iblis" (devil) when issuing statements.

Meanwhile, Mr Mahathir may now face the fate of Umno leaders whose deeds have been forgotten, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said.

He feared that this could take place because while the people and Umno regarded Dr Mahathir as an outstanding statesman who had garnered international recognition, the former prime minister now wanted to contest elections to become a delegate to the Umno general assembly in November.

Mahdzir said history has proven that in the end Umno members would forget the personality. Bernama

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