PETALING JAYA: Umno minister Salleh Said Keruak has cautioned Dr Mahathir Mohamad against oversimplifying things by labelling Umno as traitors.
Salleh said governments the world over have been victims of circumstances at some point or other in history and therefore could not be accused of having betrayed their people because of certain hiccups they were experiencing today.
“Let us try not to simplify things too much because sometimes whatever happens is beyond our control, and we become victims of circumstances whether we like it or not,” Salleh told FMT.
Salleh, who is also Umno treasurer, was referring to a blog entry by the former prime minister today, in which Mahathir said Umno was now perceived as a traitor to the country.
Mahathir also said Umno was not the party it used to be. He further claimed that under his leadership, Umno brought pride and glory to the country and earned the title of Asian Tiger.
“Well, since then (Mahathir’s time), countries like Vietnam have emerged and offer cheaper labour than Malaysia. So now it is their time to take over,” Salleh told FMT.
“(And) Japan used to be the leading economic power in Asia but now China has taken over. Does that make the Japanese ruling party a traitor to Japan?”
Salleh said this was part and parcel of how every government in the world was affected by external factors beyond their control.
“This is all about the economy and the way things move. Greece, Persia and Rome too, used to be superpowers long before the United States was created.”
He argued that going by Mahathir’s logic, even the present government of Britain could be considered “traitors”.
“To reply to Mahathir’s allegation that Umno and BN are traitors to the country, that would be like saying during Queen Victoria’s reign, Britain ruled the world but now it is struggling, which means the Conservative Party today is a traitor to Britain.” -FMT