Monday, February 29, 2016

No pity Dr Mahathir as allies turn against him

Even as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad gets sympathy in the foreign press for quitting Umno, the former prime minister is now being attacked in blogs that once lionised him. Pro-Umno blogs, such as the Unspinners, and the Devoured Saviour or The Flying Kick have claimed that the former party president's actions were unsurprising and would eventually damage Umno. In contrast, Dr Mahathir is described as a "highly respected" and "influential figure" by publications such as the Sydney Morning Herald and The Wall Street Journal. It is another reversal of fortunes for the 90-year-old who was once described as authoritarian by the foreign press when he sacked former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in 1998. Dr Mahathir quit Umno yesterday claiming that the party was seen as supporting corruption by its current president Datuk Seri Najib Razak. This is the second time he has done so in the space of 10 years, the first during 2008, over his dissatisfaction with then premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Just like in Najib's case now, Dr Mahathir then spearheaded a campaign to oust Abdullah, who was his hand-picked successor. The Unspinners, which recently changed its name to Snapshot2016, had posted a statement from Umno information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa who criticized Dr Mahathir's act. Annuar had said Dr Mahathir's latest actions would cripple and destroy Umno in his quest to oust Najib. "History has proven that Dr Mahathir does not hesitate to give the Opposition power as long as he successfully defeats and ousts the person he dislikes," Annuar said in the post. In another post titled "No tears for Tun's exits this time", wrote that Dr Mahathir's act showed that he had lied to Umno members for 22 years. "It seems that for 22 years we have been lied to by Mahathir's mantra that 'the party is more important than the individual'. This was only to protect his position while in power but not in the interests of Islam, the Malays and the country." The MyKMU post also said that Dr Mahathir could follow in the footsteps of three former Umno presidents –  Datuk Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Hussein Onn – who were no longer members when they passed away. Meanwhile the Devoured Saviour, which was formerly known as The Flying Kick, said there was speculation that Dr Mahathir was leaving Umno to form a new political party to challenge Umno and bring down Najib. The blog claimed that such speculation was sparked by photos of Dr Mahathir meeting with members of Opposition parties before the he announced he was quitting Umno. However, such an idea has been rejected by Dr Mahathir, who said the country already had enough political parties. – March 1, 2016.]]>

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