PETALING JAYA – Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders today hit out at the police and the government for withdrawing the personal bodyguard service for former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
DAP’s Zaid Ibrahim said the police and the prime minister had shown Mahathir the utmost disrespect.
“It’s petty and it’s uncalled for.
“But never mind, the people will be his bodyguards. They will protect him,” he told FMT.
Saifuddin: Withdrawing the personal bodyguard service shows that our democracy is really low-class.
PH chief secretary Saifuddin Abdullah meanwhile said in established democracies, former leaders, whether prime ministers or presidents, were accorded an official status and privileges such as an office and security details.
“Withdrawing the personal bodyguard service shows that our democracy is really low-class,” he said.
Zaid and Saifuddin were responding to news today that the police had withdrawn the personal bodyguard service provided for Mahathir’s protection by the Special Action Unit (UTK).
The withdrawal of the personal bodyguard service came a year after Putrajaya ended the contract for Mahathir’s cook and office assistant.
Mahathir, who led the country from 1981 to 2003, was Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister. He quit Umno last year and is now chairman of the opposition coalition.
If Pak Lah is given the service, it would only be fair to give the same service to Mahathir, says Santiago.
DAP’s Charles Santiago said the same service given to former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, popularly known as Pak Lah, should also be given to Mahathir.
“If Pak Lah is given the service, it would only be fair to give the same service to Mahathir,” he said.
PKR vice-president Tian Chua meanwhile said Mahathir should be accorded personal bodyguards due to his service and contributions to the country.
“It is a worrying sign as the present government does not differentiate between the role of the state and political interests,” he said.
Tian Chua: It is a worrying sign that government does not differentiate between the role of the state and political interests.
“The service should not be politicised, and neither should it be withdrawn because of a certain stand made by Mahathir or any other prime minister.”
FMT has contacted Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun and is awaiting a reply.