UMNO vice-president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has called on party members to ignore Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s attacks, as open criticisms against the veteran leader would lead to public sympathy.
In an interview with Mingguan Malaysia ahead of Umno’s general assembly which kicks off on Tuesday, Zahid said launching “excessive” attacks against Dr Mahathir would cause him to appear to be a martyr in the eyes of a sympathising public.
“I believe if Umno carries out excessive attacks, then sympathy would turn in favour of the person who is being attacked,” Zahid told the newspaper.
“It’s better if we take the ‘manhaj siyasi’ approach, which prioritises wisdom and civility,” said Zahid, who is also deputy prime minister.
The interview was given last night following the Selangor Umno convention, the party’s final state-level event before its national annual general assembly.
Zahid was asked how the ruling Malay-party would overcome the “Dr Mahathir factor”, and what approach the party should adopt in fielding attacks from the former prime minister-turned-leader of the Pakatan Harapan opposition coalition.