KUALA LUMPUR — Several United Malays National Organisation (Umno) leaders chastised former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad on Thursday (Sept 29) for comparing Prime Minister Najib Razak and those in government to the Nazis.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak pointed out the irony of Dr Mahathir accusing Mr Najib’s defenders as Nazi propagandist when the former leader himself was compared to Adolf Hitler during his 22 years in power.
“Dr Mahathir calls all those who support Najib ‘Little Goebbels’. Ironically, this was what they used to say about those who worked for him when he was prime minister,” Mr Salleh wrote on his blog on Thursday.
“In fact, they also used to refer to Dr Mahathir as ‘Hitler’, meaning a megalomaniac leader who accused his number two (opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim) of sodomy as an excuse to get rid of him.”
Dr Mahathir had written in a blog post on Wednesday night drawing comparisons between Nazi Germany’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels and those defending Mr Najib.
Among these was former Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail, who Dr Mahathir attacked for defending Mr Najib’s decision to remove him from service last year. Mr Gani, who was part of a task force investigating the controversial 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal linked to Mr Najib, was sacked due to “health reasons”.
Accusing Dr Mahathir of hypocrisy for demanding Mr Najib prove his innocence, Mr Salleh reminded the former prime minister of his previous insistence that he was innocent unless proven guilty of the myriad claims of corruption and abuse that had plagued his administration.
“Mahathir sounds like a very worried person. And he thinks if you do not support him then you are a crook or have been bought. Mahathir has always been a bad judge of character,” concluded Mr Salleh.
Echoing similar sentiments, Mr Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said the former prime minister has lost all claim to being a statesman with his “disgraceful” use of Nazi figures to attack Mr Najib, while the latter was in Germany for his three-day official visit since Monday.
“Dr Mahathir has shown again that he is not a statesman but a disgrace to Malaysia. His remarks are increasing desperate and unhinged,” he said in a statement on Thursday, adding that Malaysia was fortunate to no longer have Dr Mahathir as its leader.
“It is embarrassing to see a former prime minister destroy his legacy and reveal himself to be a bitter, vindictive old man.
“He is lashing out because his plans to topple a democratically elected government, just to install his own son as prime minister, have failed miserably.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi took a veiled swipe at Dr Mahathir on Thursday when he criticised veteran political leaders for trying to cause problems for Mr Najib’s leadership with their statements and actions.
“They (young voters) do not want to be nostalgic anymore. They want what is new for them, what is in their future and what they deserve to gain,” said Mr Zahid, adding that former politicians and leaders could still be relevant if they knew how to adapt themselves to the “current reality”.
Dr Mahathir has been at the forefront of criticism against Mr Najib and his administration for the past year.
He has accused Mr Najib of corruption linked to state investment firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and has launched a new party that he said would ally with the opposition to ensure straight fights against the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition at the next General Election, which has to be called by 2018. MALAY MAIL ONLINE
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