In a recent interview with Singaporeâs The Straits Times, Nurul Izzah Anwar claimed that she was âbroken heartedâ having to work once again with Dr Mahathir who she claimed was an âex dictatorâ.
The response from her own team mates were furious. PPBM Supreme Council member Tariq Ismail, the grandson of former deputy prime minister Ismail Abdul Rahman and a staunch supporter of Mahathir, being clearly unaware of how Dr Mahathir worked, claimed âIf Tun was still a dictator, he would have an entire Cabinet of PPBM ministers, a dictator would be the only voice.â
âNurul is entitled to her opinion, but her father did not break himself out of jail,â he added, referring to Anwar Ibrahimâs prison release following a royal pardon in the wake of Pakatan Harapanâs victory at the polls.
A political observer said Tariqâs comment doesnât make sense. âMahathir had absolute control over Malaysian politics during his 22 year rule. Itâs a well known fact. What Nurul said is true. So why try to spin it ? Just because Mahathir became the prime minister again doesnât change history. For example he did jail Anwar Ibrahim on trumped up charges.â
âThe problem with Pakatan Harapan is filled with juvenile and mediocre rent-seeking politicians who are simply trying to please their bosses without thinking things through. For example they assume the public arenât aware of Mahathirâs deeds. Tariq is insulting peopleâs intelligence, especially those who had to endure the spectacular failures and bailouts.â he added.
Mahathir as the previous prime minister of Malaysia was well known for his executive decisions bulldozing through any opposing comments earning the âdictatorâ title. Under the helm of Mahathir, he made decisions on KLIA, Petronas and multitude other projects that were rewarded to close allies, friends and family. The cabinet had no choice but to follow his orders.
Recently Azmin Ali and Anthony Loke confirmed that the final decision on the sale of Malaysian Airlines lies with Mahathir again confirming what many have observed that Mahathir decides everything while his ministers âare for showâ.
Pakatan Harapan criticism on Nurul Izzahâs comment seems to be an irony when Mahathir himself admitted to The Straits Times that he was a dictator during his 22 year rule.
The Malaysian public has been impatient since promised reforms has been slow to progress. Many see the prime minister using his â1 trillion debtâ and 1MDB as key excuse for the lack of progress. Last week Mahathir claimed that he could not provide aid to undergraduates as âNajib stole the moneyâ.
While many Malaysians has embraced the change in government from Barisan Nasional to Pakatan Harapan, many are now disillusioned with their âNew Malaysiaâ.