Attack on Anwar: Dr M only repeating what was in his memoir – Mukhriz

(Malaysiakini) – Jerlun MP Mukhriz Mahathir has defended his father Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s criticism of PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, stating that the former prime minister was only repeating what he had already stated in his memoir.

“I remember Tun (Mahathir) stating the truth, he told us about 1998 when we experienced the financial crisis when he took leave… he handed over to Anwar as deputy prime minister, to replace him as acting prime minister.

“Perhaps he saw how (Anwar) managed the country’s finances by accepting the recommendations of the IMF (International Monetary Fund) at that time…

“That is what (Mahathir) mentioned in the ‘A Doctor In The House’ book… (also) mentioned in the interview recently,” he was quoted as saying by Astro Awani.

Mahathir published the memoir in 2012 when he was still in Umno.

Mahathir and Anwar briefly reconciled in 2016 to take down their common enemy – then prime minister and Umno president Najib Abdul Razak who brought about the 1MDB scandal.

Their reconciliation contributed to Pakatan Harapan’s victory in the 2018 general election.

Mahathir was sworn in as the new prime minister with the condition that he will eventually hand over power to Anwar.

However, Mahathir’s government collapsed in late February and it was later revealed that while Mahathir had publicly said he will hand over power to Anwar, he never intended to muster the necessary support for him.

Now in the opposition, Harapan has been working to unify the opposition but Mahathir and Anwar’s icy relationship is a stumbling block, and both do not want the other to lead the opposition.

The relationship further soured after Mahathir, in an interview, claimed Anwar was incapable of leading the country during a time of crisis.

Mahathir had in his memoir criticised Anwar’s willingness to accept the IMF’s advice on overcoming an economic crisis in 1997.

In the memoir, he also defended the sodomy allegations against Anwar which was used as a premise to sack him as the deputy prime minister in 1998. Anwar was subsequently jailed.

Mahathir served as the fourth prime minister from 1981 to 2003 and the seventh prime minister from May 2018 until February this year.