Raja Petra must submit proof to back up his claim – Mahathir

(Bernama) – The government needs to be wise in entertaining various demands without forsaking certain principles, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Before, when we were strong, there were not that many challenges. But when people perceive us to be weak, they will make all sorts of demands. This requires more deft handling as compared to before.

“I am not saying the current government is not efficient, it’s just that I think it needs to be more effective,” he told reporters after delivering his address at the 26th Asia-Pacific Roundtable here today.

Earlier, in his speech on “Governance in Asia: What’s Best and What Works”, Dr Mahathir said the government today needed to have a greater skill in managing the country.

He said democracy was not an easy system for administering and implementing policies because many things are added to it including human rights and many forms of freedom, which could lead to destruction and instability.

“A little democracy would be good. Today the minority is so powerful that the majority gives in. They don’t like to do certain things but they are afraid of the minority which can be very violent.

“Today’s democracy is not democratic. Today’s democracy may be seen as being ruled by the minority and not by majority. We will not accept this,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said the only good thing about democracy was the ability of the people to choose the government through the ballot box.

At the press conference, Dr Mahathir was also asked for his opinion on the resignation of Datuk Seri Syed Zainal Abidin Syed Mohamed Tahir as managing director of Proton Holdings effective July 4.

“Change inevitably brings about upheaval. It cannot be avoided but we hope it will not be prolonged,” he said.

On allegations by Malaysia-Today blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin that Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali was allegedly involved in corrupt practises when he (Azmin) was the private secretary to Anwar Ibrahim when Anwar was deputy prime minister, Dr Mahathir said Raja Petra must submit proof to back up his claim.