KUALA LUMPUR: Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad should take a good look at himself first before preaching about freedom under Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek, in saying this, questioned the kind of freedom available under Mahathir’s 22 years as prime minister.
“Was there press freedom? Were there people who he charged under the ISA (Internal Security Act) just because he suspected them (of going against his government)?
“If we were to compare the freedom during Mahathir’s time and the one we have now, then we have to state the highest number of arrests conducted under the ISA happened during his time.
“If he wants to talk about freedom, then he should look at himself and ask what kind of freedom he allowed when he was the head of the government,” he told reporters at Parliament lobby here today.
When asked about the new pact Mahathir had made with the Opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan, Shabery said the alliance had only made the 91-year-old a puppet of his once sworn enemy, DAP.
“DAP is the dominant party in Pakatan. Mahathir will be greatly mistaken if he thinks that through his new Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), he can just waltz in with his own nominee for the prime minister’s post.
“He will face all sorts of problems if PPBM fails to be the dominant one. Will it (Pakatan) give PPBM enough seats to contest so the party can choose the candidate it wants to be the prime minister?
“If not, then he will just be a puppet whose strings are pulled by DAP. Even now, PPBM is seen as DAP’s puppet.”
Shabery, who is also the Kemaman lawmaker, was echoing the sentiments expressed by Ketereh MP Annuar Musa yesterday.
Annuar had claimed that DAP was planting proxies in other Opposition parties as its main aim was to weaken the Malays’ political dominance in the country.
He added that should the Opposition win the next general election, these proxies will then allow DAP to rule the country.