Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today (Oct 27, 2006) disseminated a statement to all Malaysians via blogs and e-mail, saying he had to criticise Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi because no one else was able to.
He also said a "climate of fear" had enveloped the country and "no one dares to comment, criticise or oppose anything that is done by the prime minister."
The former premier addressed the statement to "Citizens of Malaysia", and signed off as a "Malaysian Citizen and Commoner".
It was released to selected English and Malay blogs, and sent to the e-mail of friends and supporters, after midnight Thursday, Mahathir's aide Sufi Yusoff said. It was not sent to any of the print media.
"The statement is addressed to all Malaysians and it would be disseminated faster via the blogs and e-mail," Sufi told theSun.
He said the media could pick up the statement from any of the blogs. "We are not controlling the dissemination of the statement. We want it to snowball to reach as many people as possible."
Among these blogs is Malaysia Today which is run by Raja Petra Kamarudin, formerly the webmaster for the Free Anwar (Ibrahim) website, who was detained under the Internal Security Act during Mahathir's premiership.
Mahathir, who has been openly attacking Abdullah for the past six months over issues such as the cancelled bridge between Malaysia and Singapore, and the issuance of Approved Permits for imported cars, has continued his criticism of Abdullah in two press conferences despite a meeting with Abdullah on Sunday (Oct 22).
Abdullah said on Thursday (Oct 26) he was sad and disappointed that Mahathir continued to spew "stronger doses of venom" against him despite the four-eyed meeting where the former premier spoke for an hour-and-a-half.
Abdullah had also said that he was sad that Mahathir had continued with his tirade without giving him enough time to reply.
In his latest statement, Mahathir also charged that the mainstream media, including radio and television, were not allowed to admonish the prime minister.
"Their media make out that my criticisms of the prime minister are despicable and reprehensible," he said.
"The questions and issues I raised have not been answered. What is being questioned is my right to comment and criticise.
"Attempts are made to disparage me so badly that I am made out to be of unsound mind. Repeatedly, allegations were made that the administration during my time was worse," he added.
Mahathir said in a situation where no one - from Cabinet ministers to Umno, Parliament, state leaders, royalty and beggars - could criticise the prime minister, he had to voice his criticisms on issues that concern religion, race and the country.
He also said anyone who attempted to hold a function that may involve criticising the prime minister would be harassed and threatened by the police and government leaders to force them to cancel the function.
Additionally, he said, the "Internet and websites would be electronically bugged and action taken against anyone who criticises the Prime Minister".
"I myself have been blocked using all sorts of means to stop me from criticising the Prime Minister," Mahathir said.
To a question whether Malaysians could expect more statements from Mahathir, Sufi said statements would be made "as and when it was necessary".
-- The Sun
tags : tun mahathir mohamad malaysia pm abdullah badawi umno press statement
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