KUCHING, May 2 – The move to cease providing escorts for former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is appropriate, said Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz. He said the security privilege should have been terminated long ago.
“I think it is out of place to provide him with escorts when he is moving around only to condemn the government that gave him the privilege. The decision ought to have been made long ago. But we hope he realises that what he has been doing was not in the best interest of the country,” he said.
“Should Dr Mahathir continue doing so and in the course of it, offend certain quarters thus putting himself at risk, then the government would not want to be responsible for it. From the aspect of logistics, why give this privilege to people who are against us. If he wants to get us in a fighting match, we’re game. I am prepared to have a match with him anytime,” Nazri told the media when met at a community programme at Sekolah Kebangsaan Buntal, here Sunday.
A local news portal recently reported that police would no longer provide Dr Mahathir with the two escorts effective April 28. Touching on other matters, Nazri denied claims by the opposition that federal ministers coming to Sarawak were promising all kinds of allocations to fish for votes for the BN in the state election on May 7.
He said there is no rule in our Elections Act which forbids the government from continuing to do what should be done by the government. Furthermore, he said he and several other cabinet ministers coming to Sarawak were linked or contesting in the elections and were only carrying out their duties as federal ministers.
Nazri also took to task Kota Raja UMNO vice head Hamidi Abu Bakar for saying that his (Nazri’s) plan to table a motion calling for the sacking of former UMNO deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and former Kedah menteri besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir from UMNO at the party’s next Supreme Council meeting would be catastrophic for UMNO. He said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a medical doctor used to advise us that if there is any part of the body with cancer, you just cut it.