Dr M’s smile turns to a smirk

(The Malaysian Insider) – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s ringing endorsement of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as prime minister perhaps came 99 days too early, when he rejoined Umno on April 4.

The beaming smile that Saturday has now turned into a smirk, not quite a good sign from the straight-talking fourth prime minister, who turned 84 yesterday.

For the past few days, he has been irked by the Najib Administration’s decision to scrap teaching science and mathematics in English by 2012, a policy he initiated in his last year of power in 2003.

Dr Mahathir, who has been taciturn about Najib’s performance as prime minister unlike his very public opinion about Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s time at the helm, is now slowly venting steam and spleen over the government’s policy switch.

And the nearly 50,000 votes in his blog show that many think he is right.

He has publicly disagreed with the U-turn, pointing out he never agreed to it, contradicting a statement by Education Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s claim that the grand old man of Malaysan politics understood the reasons for the switch.

The irony is Muhyiddin has been instrumental in getting Dr Mahathir to endorse both Najib as more than an able replacement for the embattled Abdullah, who was hobbled by his predecessor’s criticisms, and Barisan Nasional’s disastrous electoral outing in 2008.

And Muhyiddin was the one who pointed out Dr Mahathir’s presence at the Umno general assembly last March when Abdullah passed the party’s stewardship to Najib, in what some critics said marred Abdullah’s last days as party president and prime minister.

All said and done, it must be grating for Dr Mahathir to see another of his anointed successors march to a different beat and walk another path than the one mapped out by him in his 22 years of power.

READ MORE HERE: http://themalaysianinsider.com/