Dr M accuses PH of double standard over Ops Lalang claim
The former prime minister says while Pakatan Harapan had always blamed him for the crackdown, they embraced him as a colleague and prime ministerial candidate.
(FMT) – Dr Mahathir Mohamad has hit out at Pakatan Harapan for blaming him for Ops Lalang, but yet pushing him to lead the country for the second time.
PH announced Mahathir as its prime ministerial candidate in January 2018 and went on to win the general election in May that year, putting an end to more than six decades of rule by Barisan Nasional.
“The parties in PH have always blamed me for Ops Lalang,” said Mahathir in a post on Twitter today.
“But when it served their objectives, they very gladly accepted me as a colleague and also as the candidate to be their prime minister.”
Launched on Oct 27, 1987, during Mahathir’s first term as prime minister, Ops Lalang saw 119 civil society activists, intellectuals and opposition politicians detained without trial under the now-repealed Internal Security Act (ISA).
In his post, Mahathir insisted again that he played no part in Ops Lalang. He said former inspector-general of police Hanif Omar had clarified that it was carried out on the police’s orders.
“Ops Lalang happened when I was prime minister. I did not order it. Tun Hanif has already clarified that it was the decision made by the police,” said Mahathir, who was the home minister at the time.
“A prime minister has to listen to the police. They are responsible for the security of the nation. Their opinions and advice cannot be simply brushed aside.”
Mahathir’s post comes after former Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto said his crackdown on dissent during Ops Lalang means he is in no position to describe the current government as a “dictatorship”.
Kasthuri was responding to Mahathir’s claim that the government was a “dictatorship” after a “Malay Proclamation” event featuring the former prime minister was cancelled twice.
Asked if he knew who directed the venues to cancel the event, Mahathir said he had no proof, but was convinced Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim was behind it because “nothing like this can be done without his consent or directive”.
Stating that he did not stop opposition leader Anwar from having weekly demonstrations during his first stint as prime minister, Mahathir today accused Anwar of not allowing Malays to discuss the problems they face.