KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 – Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib has assured Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad that he is not alone in the quest for answers over various issues he had raised with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, adding that the former prime minister can always count on the silent majority for support. The former Umno vice-president, who is now a PAS member, said the majority of people, like Dr Mahathir, were also eager to find out the truth because many of the questions remained unanswered.
“Dr Mahathir is not alone on this. The majority is following the development (between Dr Mahathir and Najib) and instead of giving answers, the prime minister is going around gathering his supporters to show off strength. “There is nothing to cheer about really. I think the silent majority is watching from the sidelines and listening to what Dr Mahathir is saying,” Muhammad, also known as Mat Taib, told The Malaysian Insider.
In his latest post on his popular blog chedet.cc on Monday, the former prime minister said he felt as if he was alone in his quest for answers over various issues he had raised, referring to the 1Malaysian Development Berhad (1MDB) debts and the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu. Dr Mahathir said he was merely seeking answers and denied his attacks were the result of Putrajaya not building the crooked bridge linking Johor and Singapore.
Mat Taib, a former Selangor menteri besar who once served under Dr Mahathir, has been supportive of his former boss over various issues despite being with the opposition now. Last year, when Dr Mahathir launched a scathing attack on Najib’s administration, Mat Taib was quick to back Dr Mahathir, saying that the former prime minister ran a tight ship and wanted a working PM, not one who goes on holidays. In a report in PAS mouthpiece Harakahdaily, Mat Taib said that when Dr Mahathir criticised Najib, it showed that something was not right in the administration.
“Dr Mahathir was decisive in all cases involving the country, he wants the best for the people,” he was quoted as saying. Mat Taib told The Malaysian Insider that both Najib and Putrajaya should take Dr Mahathir’s criticism positively because there were now too many indications showing that the country was no longer on track, politically, socially and economically. He said during the 11 years working under Dr Mahathir, the latter had never rebuked anyone blindly, unless he wanted changes for the better. “For example, the fall of the currency, drop in the FIFA football ranking to 164th place and declining education standard.
“We should hear what Dr Mahathir has to say. There are reasons behind his reprimand. For example the 1MDB, good and services tax (GST), etc.” Mat Taib also criticised Umno Youth for throwing full support behind Najib by carrying him on their shoulders instead of pressing for answers. He was referring to the incident after Najib met Umno Youth members at a closed-door meeting on Monday. After the meeting had ended, the members carried Najib on their shoulders in a show of support. Mat Taib said the act appeared pretentious as many were actually not too happy with Najib’s leadership.
“What is the point of hoisting the prime minister like that, as if they had won something? “What is there to cheer? We want to see results. Why do we cheer when there are so many things that are not in order? “Dr Mahathir’s questions have not been answered. Cheer all you want, the questions are still there.” Mat Taib said Umno appeared to be in denial and arrogant, adding that the party seemed to be waiting for its own demise.
“I am disappointed with the way they are treating Dr Mahathir. “They should have accepted his criticism… Not accused, (threatened with) arrest and (police) investigation. This is so rude.” Mat Taib said looking at the current development, perhaps it was time for the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to handover the administration to a younger leader who was more capable of leading the country. Dr Mahathir had been attacking Najib and his administration in recent months over the 1MDB scandal, for continuing the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) and Altantuya. He had even asked Najib to step down.