PETALING JAYA: Veteran politician Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has sounded a reminder that Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s struggles for the Malays have swayed according to political necessity.
He acknowledged that Mahathir cares for the Malays and often brings up the issue in their meetings, but there are times his actions are not in line with his rhetoric.
“He always speaks about the Malays, all the time, but there are times he takes a turn, when there is political necessity or suitability,” Razaleigh told FMT on Saturday at the Umno general assembly, when asked to comment on Mahathir’s Malay Proclamation.
Mahathir’s initiative to unite Malay politicians across all parties has received support from a few opposition leaders including PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang who was once the target of Mahathir’s criticisms.
Razaleigh questioned why Mahathir never called for such unity when he was prime minister from 1981 to 2003 with Barisan Nasional and from 2018 to 2020 with Pakatan Harapan.
However, Razaleigh said he had not scrutinised the proclamation.
“I did not study it actually, but if you ask me, he was the prime minister for 22 years, why didn’t he do all that (Malay unity)? Why didn’t he do it when he was cooperating with DAP, until he was rejected by his own party (Bersatu)?” he said referring to Mahathir’s sacking from Bersatu in 2020.
Previously, when asked to comment on the proclamation’s intention to unite and save the Malays, former Umno MP Tawfik Ismail said that Malay supremacy has never been threatened, seeing the number of Malays in positions of power.
He also described Mahathir’s relationship with the PAS leadership as ironic, seeing that the former prime minister was always negative towards the party.
Tawfik also accused Mahathir of lacking principles and has never been consistent in choosing his enemies.