DR Mahathir Mohamad today questioned why the Umno leadership considered the return of Muhammad Muhammad Taib to the party such a huge event that they had to call a special press conference to announce it.
“I am surprised why Najib (Umno president Najib Razak) and his deputy Ahmad Zahid Hamidi considered Muhammad’s return such a huge event,” he said
“It shows that it is true that Najib is looking to have his gang back. This is his gang,” he added.
Dr Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years from 1981 to 2003, was commenting on Muhammad’s return to Umno in a video posted on Facebook this evening.
“He realises that the struggles of the opposition parties, especially PKR, are a waste,” said Najib, who is also prime minister and Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman.
Dr Mahathir, however, likened Muhammad to a frog, jumping from one party to another.
“I am very happy because Tan Sri Mat Taib has jumped back under the ‘tempurung’ (coconut shell) of Umno. He is like a frog.
“From Umno, he jumped to PAS and then PKR. Then he said he supported me in Bersatu. Now, his legs are still strong; he can jump back to Umno.
“Congratulations, Umno. Because many like Mat Taib will guarantee that Umno loses in the election,” the 92-year-old Pakatan Harapan chairman said.
Dr Mahathir said he remembered the case when Muhammad was caught in Australia with a bag full of money.
“His excuse then was he did not understand English. That was when he had broken the law.
“Now he has not broken the law. I know he understands English. Don’t know where the money came from,” he said.
Muhammad was forced to resign as menteri besar in April 1997 after he was charged in Australia over currency irregularities of RM3.8 million.
He reportedly pleaded that he did not understand the currency regulations because he did not understand English. He was found not guilty.
“People like him, we cannot trust very much. That was why he was removed,” Dr Mahathir said as he continued to take jabs at Muhammad.
“If he carries a bag, we have to check if it contains money,” he said.
Muhammad’s return to Umno has largely failed to impress Pakatan Harapan leaders and political analysts, who described this evening’s announcement as a non-event.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT