Do as I say, not as I do? Another Umno man targets Dr M over NYT interview

Annuar Musa

(Malay Mail Online) – Another Umno leader has highlighted the apparent hypocrisy in Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad turning to the same foreign media that vexed him when they entertained former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Umno supreme council member Tan Sri Annuar Musa today expressed puzzlement that the former prime minister would use the same outlets to attack Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak when he previously expressed his displeasure when they gave Anwar a voice.

“He always mentioned how he was not happy when there were quarters, back then it was former deputy prime minister Anwar, used the foreign media,” Annuar was quoted as saying by news portal Malaysiakini.

“I’m a bit confused, he is not practising what he used to preach.”

Annuar nevertheless said it was Dr Mahathir’s right to give the interview, and urged Putrajaya not to simply disregard the opinions of the former prime minister whom he said had contributed to the nation’s development.

He also voiced admiration for Najib’s handling of Dr Mahathir’s invectives, saying it was the wiser option not to confront the former prime minister directly.

“If there is truth to what that has been raised by Mahathir, regard it as a reminder,” Annuar was quoted further in the report.

The MARA chairman was speaking at a press conference on the Mara Education Loan Scheme here today.

Today, the New Straits Times reported Barisan Naional Backbenchers Club chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad as saying Dr Mahathir went against his own principles by going to the international media such as the New York Times.

“During his premiership, he kept telling others not to talk to or trust foreign media because they have their own agenda and that they are controlled by a group with certain interests, but now he has stooped so low that he abandoned his own principles just to get at Najib,” Sharir said.

“He certainly must be so upset and bent on bringing Najib down that he had to resort to this,” Sharir added.

In an interview published the NYT yesterday, Dr Mahathir reiterated the criticisms he has directed at Najib over recent months, again insisting that the latter must resign as prime minister.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman subsequently responded in an open letter to the NYT claiming that Dr Mahathir’s attack on 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) was “an excuse to topple the serving prime minister, Najib Tun Razak” after failing to get what he wants.

He pointed out that Dr Mahathir has been unrelenting in his offensive against 1MDB — Najib’s brainchild — despite ongoing investigations by three separate agencies on the state investment fund’s alleged financial and management irregularities: Bank Negara, the Auditor-General and Parliament’s bipartisan Public Accounts Committee.

Dr Mahathir is demanding Najib’s resignation over the troubled finances of 1MDB, which has racked up RM42 billion in debt that it is struggling to repay despite billions in land bought cheaply from the government.