For former minister Zainuddin Maidin, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad has once again emerged the victor following the cancellation of a debate between the latter and Tourism and Culture Minister Nazri Abdul Aziz.
This, said Zainuddin, was because the cancellation was done by the government and that Mahathir was nothing but a “senile and crazy” man.
“Whatever the reason given, the rakyat are obviously of the view that the government is not able to face Mahathir,” wrote Zainuddin on his blog today.
Yesterday, the police said that the debate, scheduled for April 7, could not proceed due to security concerns and complaints from residents near the venue.
Zainuddin said this was reminiscent of the Nothing2Hide forum on June 5, 2015, where Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was prevented from attending at the eleventh hour on instructions of the police.
At the time, Najib was accused using the police as an excuse to avoid the event since the topic was on 1MDB.
Zainuddin, who is a former information minister, wondered aloud on whether Mohamed Nazri would face the same fate.
“He has proven his manliness and I am sure the people he represents are still proud of his bravery,” said Zainuddin.
The police has blocked Malay daily Sinar Harian from holding the debate between Mohamed Nazri and Mahathir twice, both on security grounds.
Initially, the police had, in writing allowed the April 7 event to proceed. This permission was rescinded a day later.
Sinar Harian has since given up as organisers. The daily has previously organised more 40 political forums or discussions at their office without a hitch.
Several lawyers have told Malaysiakini that there were no provisions under the law which allowed the police to prevent the debate from taking place.