JAKARTA, April 14 – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the actions of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who is trying to interfere in the country’s administration was because the former prime minister still wanted to be in control. Najib said Dr Mahathir was trying this because he had his own agenda including perhaps wanting his son in a top leadership position or it could be because some of his projects had not materialised.
“Dr Mahathir forgets that when he was prime minister, he himself refused to allow anyone to interfere in his administration and that with him, it was ‘do it my way or be on your way’,” he said in a pre-recorded interview that was broadcast on I-News here Wednesday night.
Najib said Dr Mahathir might have forgotten that he was his loyal supporter for 22 years and firmly stood behind the former party (UMNO) president when almost half the party members no longer supported his leadership. He said, now as the prime minister given the mandate, he determined national policies in a more open manner and made decisions after consultations with other leaders in the government and applied the same principle in leading the party (UMNO).
“When I took over as prime minister, I should be entrusted to govern the country. I accept opinions, but I do not want to set aside the principle, that I am the legitimate prime minister and I will continue to lead according to my best judgment for good of the country and people,” he said.
Najib said a leader must have principles and dignity because they will be evaluated and judged by the legacy they leave behind. He said this means, if they have nothing left, at least we still have self-respect, so if we sacrifice our principles, history will judge us. The prime minister said that politics in Malaysia was stable, as the law stipulated that the government could not be changed through street demonstrations, although the people have been given the freedom of expression.
“The fact is there is political stability in Malaysia, what they saw (street demonstration) I deem noise level, because to make a change (in the leadership) in Malaysia, it must be subject to the Constitution, whereby whoever holds the majority in Parliament may set up the government,” he said.
Najib said in Malaysia, whoever was the president of the largest party (UMNO) in Parliament would become the prime minister, and no one could change the government through street protests. He said they do not want street demonstrations to become ‘democrazy’, and people can make a difference by choosing a government every five years.
He said they must have a sense of responsibility with rational thinking that they should be guided by the democratic ‘rule of law’, which is based on the principles of democracy where the citizens have the right to choose the government. The UMNO president said the vast experience he had garnered during his 40 years in politics have been advantageous to him in receiving support from his colleagues and companions.