PETALING JAYA: Former Umno man Khairuddin Abu Hassan says Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said is being hypocritical in her remarks regarding former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
According to a news report, Azalina said Mahathir’s apparent backing of Anwar as Pakatan Harapan’s candidate for prime minister was a clear departure from his previously held position.
She reminded the PPBM chairman that he had said Anwar must never be allowed to rise to the position of prime minister, adding that Mahathir’s supposed U-turn showed that the opposition was prepared to sacrifice principles for personal interests.
Her comments follow an interview in which Mahathir said he would not stand in the way of Anwar becoming prime minister should Pakatan Harapan win federal power and if the PKR de facto leader is granted a royal pardon.
Khairuddin, however, asked why Azalina had an issue with Mahathir and Anwar’s apparent alliance while she had no qualms about Umno and PAS becoming “increasingly friendly”.
“Weren’t Umno and PAS sworn enemies in the past? Why is that okay?” he asked.
“PAS once said that meat slaughtered by Umno butchers is haram. They used to say that marrying someone from Umno was haram. They even said that your prayers are invalid if the imam is from Umno.
“Why does Azalina feel that it’s now okay for Umno and PAS to become friends? Why is (Prime Minster) Najib Razak now buddies with (PAS president) Hadi Awang?
“Azalina should shut her mouth if everything coming from it is only going to prove how much of a hypocrite she is.
“I need not remind her that she owes her political career to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.”
He said Islam encouraged its followers to forgive one another even if they were once the worst of enemies.
“Anwar Ibrahim is a man with a huge heart. We’ve now seen how he and Mahathir are able to shake hands and make amends in true Islamic spirit. Remind Azalina that in Islam, we forgive one another.
“I, for one, find it honourable and motivating that both Anwar and Mahathir have chosen to set aside their differences in order to save Malaysia from a corrupt regime.”
Yesterday, Mahathir refuted an international news report which said he had admitted making a mistake in not allowing PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim to succeed him as prime minister.
“I didn’t say anything about that. A lot of people quoted me or spoke about me (on this), which is not right,” he told reporters.
The Guardian had reported Mahathir as saying in an interview that he had accepted that he made a mistake by, among other things, holding on to power for too long.