PETALING JAYA: Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim has accused former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad of going back to his old ways by using racial issues to criticise Anwar Ibrahim’s government.
Hassan questioned Mahathir’s contributions to ordinary Malay folk while he was prime minister for 22 years under Barisan Nasional.
“What had he done for the ordinary Malays other than the cronies comprising capitalists, relatives, and friends? In 2018, when given a chance to become the prime minister, why didn’t he introduce policies and programmes to uplift the Malays?” Hassan said.
Mahathir had also claimed that the government, while led by a Malay, is silencing the Malays. He labelled the government as a dictatorship following the cancellation of a “Malay proclamation” event featuring him which was scheduled for today.
In response, Hassan supported Anwar’s firm stance against anyone fanning racial and religious sentiments.
However, he hoped Anwar would not follow Mahathir’s footsteps in using repressive laws to silence critics.
Mahathir was prime minister when more than 100 people were detained under the Internal Security Act during Operation Lalang in 1987, when Umno was undergoing internal division.
Hassan urged Anwar to find other alternative means to reduce the racial heat, and said he should avoid using “draconian laws like Sosma” against opponents. “Use engagement, not war,” Hassan said.