SERDANG: Dr Mahathir Mohamad has returned fire at Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for his comment that Pakatan Harapan could implode, with a sarcastic reminder about Razaleigh’s own party Semangat 46 falling apart in the 1980s.
Razaleigh had said last week that the infighting between PKR’s top two leaders, Anwar Ibrahim and Mohamed Azmin Ali, could lead to a Pakatan Harapan implosion.
After PPBM’s extraordinary general meeting today, Mahathir was asked for his response to Razaleigh’s remark last week.
“He has a lot of experience with Semangat 46, so he knows all about it. He imploded,” Mahathir told reporters.
Razaleigh had set up the Semangat 46 party after failing to oust Mahathir as Umno president in 1987, a dispute which led to Umno being deregistered.
Mahathir set up Umno (Baru) while Razaleigh set up Semangat 46. After several years in the opposition, the party was dissolved and Razaleigh returned to Umno.
Mahathir was also asked about an observation that expectations of Mahathir, who is 94, completing a full five-year term as prime minister were akin to subjecting him to “torture”.
Mahathir said everyone was entitled to their opinion. “I have made my promise and I’ll keep to my promise. Whatever somebody else says is their opinion, not mine.”
Under an agreement struck by Pakatan Harapan parties, Mahathir is to hand over power to Anwar. While no time-frame has been specified, some parties have urged Mahathir to set a date for the transfer of power.
The remark about torture was made by writer Shahbudin Husin at the launch of his book “Anwar PM ke-8” during which he also said a two-year time-frame for the succession was ideal.
Mahathir also voiced his sadness at the passing of Argentine architect Cesar Pelli, who designed the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.
“I knew him well. He worked very hard and responded well to our suggestions. We offer our condolences to his family.”