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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Dr M: Tunku never deprived of his privileges even when he backed DAP

Malaysia’s founding father Tunku Abdul Rahman was never denied his privileges even when he spoke on the opposition’s platform after leaving office, said former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Although the Tunku was rather antagonistic towards the government and spoke from opposition platform and supported the DAP, he enjoyed privileges until he died,” Mahathir said in a blog post.
Among others, Mahathir said it has always been the practice in Malaysia for the government to provide an office and staff for former prime ministers.
Mahathir resigned as the fourth prime minister in 2003 after 22 years in office.
“Accordingly the government rented space in the Perdana Leadership Foundation for me and a few of my staff,” he said.
Last Friday, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak announced that the government would cease fundings for the foundation, as it has been purportedly used as a platform to topple the democratically-elected BN government.
Mahathir, who noted Najib’s attempts to destroy the foundation, said that very few people were aware of its actual origins and such it was time to let them know.
In the beginning, Mahathir said he had rejected the original proposal from a few businessmen to build a library to commemorate his achievements as prime minister.
Aside from concerns that the individuals would be accused of being his cronies, Mahathir said he was also against being a personality cult.
“Throughout the time I was in the government I had tried to stop the practice of naming public places after living people. The exception I made was for the rulers.
“Others would have to wait until they die before their names would be given to public places,” he said.
Helping Palestinians
Mahathir said that he suggested that the library should also commemorate all the previous and future prime ministers by setting up an institute to gather all documents relating to the policies, strategies and plans which have been initiated and implemented.
He also stressed that the government did not contribute any financial assistance to build or maintain the foundation.
Aside from its functions as a resource centre, Mahathir said the foundation was also involved in helping the Palestinians, especially after the Israelis attacked Gaza.
This was carried out through the setting-up of the Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF).

“For these activities we raised funds from the public.
“In the past, the government contributed a few million ringgit for which we are very grateful,” he added.
Despite the government having ceased to pay the rent for his office space, Mahathir insisted that he would continue to work from the foundation because there are still people who come to seek his help.
The Umno supreme council’s decision to pull the plug on funds for the foundation was made in response to a suggestion by Umno Youth at a press conference earlier this week. - Mkini

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