Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today congratulated Sungai Besar Umno division chief Jamal Md Yunos for "taking over the government of Malaysia".
For example, he said, the red-shirts leader has already controlled the Kuala Lumpur City Hall as he said the red-shirts will demonstrate at Dataran Merdeka on Nov 19.
The City Hall had already barred electoral watchdog Bersih from doing the same that day.
"By threatening a demonstration, the red-shirts have indirectly taken over the government.
"Congratulations to Jamal for becoming de facto prime minister of Malaysia," he snidely said.
The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairperson said the red-shirts are now "street terrorists who contribute to national peace".
"Well done Datuk! When will you get a Tan Sri?" he asked in a blog posting.
Mahathir earlier today reminded his critics that the Malaysia of today would not have come to be without public demonstrations against the British colonials.
“Lest we forget in 1946, (the) rakyat and their leaders demonstrated against the Malayan Union agreements and caused them to be abrogated.
“Where would everybody be if there had been no demonstrations,” the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairperson said in a blog post.
Umno founder Onn Jaafar had at the time led the opposition against the Malayan Union, on grounds that it reduced the Sultan's powers and due to unhappines over its conditions for citizenship to immigrants.
Mahathir was responding to criticisms that his support for the upcoming Bersih 5 rally comes despite his own history of clamping down on public dissent during his 22 years in office.
Mahathir said if it was not right for a former leader to participate in demonstrations, then it must be right for a current leader to be a kleptocrat accused of stealing billions of ringgit from the government, among a long list of alleged misconducts.
“Don’t demonstrate. Complain to your MP who has been stuffed with so much bran that he is now deaf and dumb,” he said with his trademark sarcasm.
Mahathir had made a brief appearance during last year’s Bersih 4 rally but at the time said he only came to support the people’s call for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s resignation.
Since then, Mahathir has quit Umno and pledged cooperation with the opposition parties via Bersatu.
He had also reportedly hinted that he would once again attend the upcoming Bersih 5 rally on Nov 19.- Mkini