Dr M ‘raped’ country’s institutions to stay in power, Umno man says

Jamal Yunos

(Malay Mail Online) – An Umno leader today reminded Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad of abuses to the country’s institutions during his administration, after the former prime minister accused Datuk Seri Najib Razak of misusing the judiciary to stay in power.

Datuk Jamal Yunos, who led the pro-Malay #Merah169 rally last month, said that Dr Mahathir’s 22-year reign as prime minister included many of the country’s largest controversies involving the judiciary as well as other institutions.

“I am confident that the world knows that for 22 years under the Mahathir administration, he was the prime minister that clearly used all his power to protect his right-hand men and to submerge all his political enemies.

“All the country’s basic institutions were thoroughly raped (habis dirogol) just so he can remain in power,” he said in a statement today.

Among others, Jamal cited Dr Mahathir’s apparent role in the prosecution of former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy.

In 1998, Anwar was sacked from the number two post by then-ruling strongman Dr Mahathir and jailed on sodomy and corruption charges.

The sodomy charge was later overturned, and he was released from prison in 2004 to helm the opposition, posing the first real challenge ever to the five-decade-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

Jamal also pointed out the former prime minister’s part in the sacking of then-Lord President of the Supreme Court as part of the 1988 Constitutional Crisis.  

Malaysia’s judiciary has remained under a cloud since the 1988 constitutional crisis and Salleh’s removal is widely viewed as the point at which Malaysia’s judiciary began to lose its independence.

The Umno Sungai Besar division chief also pointed to the disparity with the freedom of speech between Dr Mahathir and Najib’s administration, pointing to the 1987 Ops Lalang security crackdown as well as the imprisonment of opposition leader Lim Guan Eng under the Sedition Act.

“Do we not remember Mahathir gagging and oppressing all parties who spoke in opposition to him all this while,” he added, disputing the statements made by the former prime minister.

Ops Lalang was a security crackdown carried out by the Mahathir administration in 1987 purportedly over fears of racial clashes stemming from allegations of interference in Chinese vernacular education, but was perceived as a move to quash political dissent as over 100 mainly-opposition figures were detained.

On Monday, Dr Mahathir — together with senior Barisan Nasional leaders such as Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, and former MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat — criticised Putrajaya for detaining two critics using an anti-terrorism law.

The former prime minister also suggested that Najib interfered with the Attorney-General’s Chambers to prevent charges against state-owned investment firm 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

The #Merah169 rally, said to be in support of Najib’s leadership, was to counter the mammoth two-day Bersih 4 gathering in August calling for the prime minister’s resignation.