PETALING JAYA: Zaid Ibrahim has extended his best wishes to Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the occasion of the former prime minister’s 92nd birthday today.
In two tweets earlier today, the former minister also added his personal wish for the PPBM chairman and voiced out against the attacks by the ruling government.
“Tun M is 92 today; all the best wishes to him. May he stay healthy and strong, so he can lead us to dispose this lawless govt,” Zaid said in his first tweet.
In a follow up message, he said: “The goons and the hired hands have launched personal attacks against him; clear proof that they are in panic mode.”
Zaid was referring to the response by Prime Minister Najib Razak and some of his ministers in the last few days over a report in The Guardian last week, quoting Mahathir’s defence of Anwar Ibrahim.
Last Thursday, the UK daily had reported Mahathir as saying that Anwar should be released from jail and allowed to contest in parliamentary elections.
He said Anwar was the “victim of a political vendetta” and had been “unfairly treated”.
“The decision of the court was obviously influenced by the government and I think the incoming government would be able to persuade the king to give a full pardon for Anwar.
“In which case, he would be able to participate in politics and become prime minister. I can have no objection to that,” Mahathir was quoted as saying.
Najib then issued a statement on Friday, denouncing his former mentor, saying it was ironic that Mahathir now needed Anwar, “the man he sacked and jailed”.
The Umno president claimed Mahathir was “obsessed” with “saving his family’s legacy” and making his son, Mukhriz Mahathir, prime minister.
“He (Mahathir) has no principles and will do anything,” Najib said, adding that Mahathir was “desperate” as he faces a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the losses suffered by Bank Negara due to foreign exchange (forex) trading in the 1990s.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Azalina Othman Said also slammed Mahathir over his “U-turn” over Anwar having sacked him from the government and Umno.
“Tun Mahathir’s actions in frequently making U-turns also reveal the opposition’s actual attitude in willing to trade off their principles because they want to fulfil their personal interests,” she said in a statement on Friday.
Then, in a speech at the Bagan Datuk Umno division delegates meeting yesterday, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi criticised Mahathir for not appreciating the support he received during his time as prime minister.
“Mahathir too, had weaknesses and made mistakes in his 22 years as prime minister but it was never revealed out of respect for him.
“When our time has passed, let it pass, let history judge us, don’t condemn others as in the case of the failure of the privatisation move. We do not want to reveal the ‘sores’ and we know of his weaknesses,” Zahid was quoted as saying by Bernama.