Dr M unhappy, warns against blind loyalty in Umno

By Adib Zalkapli, The Malaysian Insider

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has told Umno members not to blindly support party leaders' decisions, in a sign that the former prime minister is slowly showing his dissatisfaction with Datuk Seri Najib Razak's leadership.

“Sometimes we make unwise decision, like cancelling the crooked bridge project, and to build a third straight bridge, which was rejected by the Sultan of Johor, but this was not a wise decision,” said Dr Mahathir at a forum on the position of the Malays organised by Serdang Umno division here.

“I beg you to evaluate your participation in the party, to support for the sake of party unity does not guarantee victory,” the country's longest-serving prime minister said at the end of his speech.

Dr Mahathir said that his reminder did not mean that he was trying to make the party leaders unpopular.

“Maybe some of you will think what I just said is not good, as it will reduce the support level of the leaders, but if we support our leaders blindly, others will not.

“I find it hard to make explanation, as I don't want to be accused of jeopardising the party's popularity,” he added.

Dr Mahathir who was the strongest critic of Tun Abdullah Badawi administration has been blamed by some within the party for the party's worst electoral performance last year.

Recently he had openly criticised Najib's liberalisation efforts and government's move to scrap the teaching of mathematics and science in English policy, introduced during the final year of his administration.

“Sometime leaders make decision that we do not agree to, but we still support for the sake of party unity,” he added saying that such practice is bad for the party.

“We must remind our leaders who do not do good to their own race, if we Umno members think that we have to always unite behind our leaders, believe me we will not succeed,” said Dr Mahathir.

He reminded some 1,000 Umno members present how the party performed very badly in the last general election, because members had failed to warn their leaders.

“We still do not understand why we lost the support, as long as we support our leader, as long as the party remains united, we feel we are safe,” he added sarcastically.