Salleh: Dr Mahathir’s kiss is a kiss of death
Umno minister recalls the time former PM shook his deputy’s hand a day before he sacked Anwar Ibrahim in 1998.
An Umno Supreme Council member today implied that Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s overtures to arch nemesis Anwar Ibrahim will not augur well for the latter.
Speaking to FMT, Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak reminded of the time the former prime minister shook Anwar’s hand a day before Mahathir “destroyed” his then deputy back in 1998.
“Mahathir’s kiss is a kiss of death.”
Salleh was commenting on Mahathir’s unscheduled visit to a High Court hearing here on an urgent application by Anwar to suspend the coming into force of the controversial National Security Council (NSC) Act.
The 91-year-old Mahathir arrived about 3pm today and was spotted shaking hands and briefly exchanging pleasantries with Anwar in the witness room.
It is believed that this is the first time both Mahathir and Anwar, 68, are meeting again after a lapse of 18 years.
Salleh, however, claimed he was not surprised by Mahathir’s actions, explaining that the latter needed to shore up support for his new party, Bersatu, which also comprises former Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and former Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhirz Mahathir.
The former Sabah chief minister also said it was obvious that Mahathir was trying to build bridges with Anwar in a bid to woo Pakatan Harapan, the Opposition coalition.
Mahathir’s actions, he added, was also a form of admission that he did not have what it takes to make his new party a success.
“He needs to ‘tumpang’ (hitch) on Anwar and Pakatan.”
Another Umno Supreme Council member, Aziz Kaprawi, described the handshake as “a marriage of convenience and a shameful act”.
Aziz said it showed the former prime minister was willing to do anything to make sure his family is not sidelined from politics.
“He is in his 90s and perhaps he is doing it to see his son survive in politics. He is a very desperate man,” he said when contacted.