PETALING JAYA: Najib Razak has explained that he chose to be his own man as prime minister instead of being Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s puppet.
Speaking on Indonesian television, Najib said that Mahathir was “obsessed with control” and with wanting to call the shots even though he was no longer prime minister.
In an interview with MetroTV, Najib said he chose to be a prime minister responsible to the rakyat and to do what he thought would be best for the country.
“I only had two choices as prime minister. First, that I become a prime minister who refers to him (Mahathir) and gets his ‘advice’. I say ‘advice’ but it’s probably instructions to do what he wants in terms of the administration of the country.
“Or, I become a prime minister who believes in my own leadership, judgement and the mandate given to me by the country and my party, and do what I think is best for the country.”
“But I know the effect of this is that Mahathir will not be happy with me because history has shown that he has dismissed and got rid of prime ministers before this,” he said.
The interview was Najib’s first international appearance since the US government filed a suit to seize about USD1 billion in assets acquired with money said to have been embezzled from 1Malaysia Development Bhd.