Salleh to Mahathir: Those who called you dictator are now in PH

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KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Mahathir Mohamad seems to have forgotten that those who called him a dictator and other scornful names are now in Pakatan Harapan, according to Salleh Said Keruak.

In a brief blog post today, the communications and multimedia minister said: “The real truth is, those who called Mahathir ‘an authoritarian dictator, a Mahazalim and Mahafiraun, who was undemocratic, and has become super rich through corruption’ are those in Pakatan Harapan and who are now his allies and political comrades.

“Maybe he forgot this one very crucial point, or is he really trying to sindir (sarcastically insinuate) his own political allies?”

Salleh was referring to a blog post yesterday by the PPBM chairman who sarcastically said: “So carry on calling me an authoritarian dictator, a Mahazalim and Mahafiraun, who was undemocratic, and has become super rich through corruption. It is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”

Dr Mahathir added: “To cut a long story short, as a true dictator, I decided to resign. All dictators do this.”

Salleh said: “It was basically an exercise in sarcasm and reverse-psychology to deflect the allegation that he was a dictator and kleptocrat when he was Malaysia’s prime minister for 22 years.”

Mahathir’s blogpost came more than a week after he was named as the prime ministerial candidate for PH, the coalition of four opposition parties which includes Umno splinter party PPBM.

The announcement that Dr Mahathir was PH’s prime ministerial candidate has not gone down well with some in the opposition. There are those who see him as a “dictator” who harmed the nation’s institutions such as the judiciary and who did not tolerate dissent. They do not want a repeat performance.

Barisan Nasional leaders took the opportunity to attack Mahathir, with many mentioning his “dictatorial” ways as prime minister.

Some others, however, have risen to his defence saying he has changed and that even if he were to become authoritative, his age and the more vocal PH leaders would not allow it.