Former premier says he will attend March 27 gathering by Zaid Ibrahim if he is invited.
PUTRAJAYA: Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has said the time has come for the people to act as citizens first and show their concern for what was happening in the country at present, regardless of their political affiliations.
Speaking at a press conference after being questioned by the police over a blog posting of his about Attorney-General Apandi Ali, Mahathir said he had to make it clear to Prime Minister Najib Razak that many were perturbed over his administration based on the cash-is-king concept.
Mahathir also said he would join the March 27 gathering calling for Najib’s resignation, as well as that of the AG and Inspector-General of Police, if he was invited.
Yesterday, former de facto Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim announced a peaceful gathering on March 27 for citizens who were concerned that the police had abandoned the rule of law and that the prime minister was above the law.
Mahathir also lamented there was no freedom of speech in Umno or the country any more when asked about his thoughts on supreme council member Nazri Aziz’s warning that Deputy President Muhyiddin Yassin could be stripped of his post in the party if he continued his attacks on Najib.
Last weekend Muhyiddin hit out again at Najib, claiming he knew more about the RM2.6 billion banked into Najib’s accounts than he let on.
“What Nazri is saying is that we cannot speak now, all we can say is ‘I support Najib’ and if we say anything different, action can be taken against us,” Mahathir said.
On his thoughts about the state of the economy and claims that his criticism of Najib and the government had a negative effect on it, Mahathir said it was not him but the behaviour of the government as well as its policies and scandals that had affected the economy in a bad way.
The scandals, Mahathir said, were making the front pages of international newspapers and this is what has caused the economy to suffer.
“It’s not about what I say but rather what Najib does.”
He reiterated that there was nothing personal in his criticism of Najib but that he was worried about the future of the country.
He also said that at present, he was “very well off”, surviving on his monthly pension.