PETALING JAYA – Centre for Global Affairs (Icon) president Abdul Razak Baginda has urged Umno to use its general assembly to acknowledge the contributions of their former president, Mahathir Mohamad, and to advise him to rise above gutter politics.
Speaking to FMT, Razak said the public was expecting Umno to denounce Mahathir in this year’s assembly but he called for a different approach.
“Everyone expects the assembly to be hard-hitting on Mahathir,” he said. “Obviously, there will be those who’ll take shots at him. But it will be extremely refreshing if someone were to take on a different tone.
“Mahathir has developed Malaysia and put the country on the world map and nothing he does today will ever change that. It would be nice to see Umno acknowledging this.
“I’d like to see someone go up there, praise Mahathir for all the good he’s done and to say, ‘We wish you would play the role of the very senior and highly respected statesman that you are.’”
He said he found it unfortunate that someone of Mahathir’s calibre would allow himself to be sucked into gutter politics.
“He’s wasting his talent. He was at the pinnacle of not just Malaysian politics but regional politics as well. Everyone knows Mahathir because he was the only one who had the guts to lambaste the United States and Israel. No one had or has the guts to say what he said.”
Razak recalled that the Organisation of the Islamic Conference appointed Mahathir to mediate between the Iranians and the Iraqis during the Iran-Iraq War of the 1980s.
“He should be out there right now lambasting the many contradictions taking place around the world because the world is in such a mess,” he said.