Malaysia’s Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that the opposition Pakatan Harapan’s decision to nominate former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as its PM candidate was “accurate as no one else more qualified to bring damage to the country,” according to New Straits Times Online on Tuesday.
“This statesman had served for 22 years. If he is to be given the same position as before, he will likely repeat his mistakes,” said the deputy prime minister when asked on Dr Mahathir’s nomination.
“This recycling of past mistakes is very much awaited by Malaysians. There is no other leader more qualified than him to bring about damage and ruin to the country,” said Zahid.
On Sunday, the Parakan Harapan named Dr Mahathir Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman and its PM candidate.
The decision has caused rift within the opposition pact with many from the grassroots questioning the selection of the 92-year old former prime minister. It also provoked widespread criticism.
The chief criticism focused on Dr Mahathir’s administration’s suppression of dissent and free speech and the crackdown on politicians and activists in 1987 with over 100 detained under the now scrapped Internal Security Act.
Mahathir was also responsible for the sacking of his then deputy, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is now in jail and also a member of the Parakan Harapan.