Mahathir Launched ABU in 2008, Claims Raja Petra

(Malaysian Digest) – Self-exiled blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin yesterday claimed that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed was the one who had ‘launched’ the ABU (Anyone But Umno) movement in 2008.

In his latest article in Malaysia Today, he said in 2008 Dr Mahathir had launched ABU when the latter told a press conference to not vote Umno in the 2008 general election.

Dr Mahathir was quoted as saying “vote anyone but Umno” when he met the Chinese association leaders and told them to support the opposition, especially in Penang, then prome minister Tun Abdullah Badawi’s home state, resulting in the opposition taking over that state.

“I don’t care whether Dr Mahathir is sincere about supporting the opposition or whether he had ulterior motives – such as to bring Abdullah Badawi down.

“Dr Mahathir’s charity is not my concern. How the opposition can benefit by Dr Mahathir becoming Umno’s enemy is. And that is what I focused on,” said Raja Petra who is also the editor and founder of the Malaysia Today portal.

In May 2008, Dr Mahathir along with fellow Umno veteran Tan Sri Sanusi Junid announced that they are quitting Umno.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced his decision, citing a lack of confidence in the current leadership of then prime minister Abdullah.

Mahathir had been critical of his appointed successor Abdullah or fondly known as Pak Lah, blaming him for the party’s disappointing performance in the 12th general election where Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) won the March 8 election with a simple majority, and saw four more states join Kelantan under Opposition rule.