After being “omitted” from a revised version of a civics book, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad Dr Mahathir Mohamad said that it does not matter because people already know him.

“People know me; it’s not like I’m waiting for their book to mention me. Go ahead and erase (me), there is no need to talk about me at all.

“Just say that Mahathir was never born…never worked, never contributed anything to development. All development is (current prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s) achievement,” Mahathir said in a sarcastic tone.

He was speaking at a press conference in Gombak last night after attending Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Youth’s fundraising dinner and auction.

Mahathir was asked to comment on a viral posting of a snapshot from a revised version of a Form 3 civics book, which depicted all past and present prime ministers, except him, in a photo line-up.

An accompanying question asks students to create a greeting card expressing appreciation and support based on the photos.

The Education Ministry had previously denied that the book was a ministry publication, and has lodged police reports against the book’s publisher as well as netizens claiming that the book had come from the ministry.

The ministry also clarified that its textbooks are written based on historical facts, and had never issued any instructions to schools to take down pictures of Mahathir.

Meanwhile, at the fundraising dinner, Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman announced that the Youth wing would be organising a series of townhall sessions dubbed “Wawasan 2020: Realisasikan Harapan” (Vision 2020: Realising Hopes).

Speaking to reporters later, he said the event would start within a month of last night’s soft launch and would be held weekly.

Unlike the government’s TN50 series of townhall sessions, Syed Saddiq said the Wawasan 2020 dialogues would focus on more immediate concerns and policies that can be implemented by 2020, compared with TN50’s goal of 2050.

The dialogue would be headed by Bersatu leaders, and each leader would be tasked to prepare a working paper based on the discussions, which would then used in the planning of Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto.

If a general election is called while the sessions are still ongoing, the feedback would be used in Harapan’s policies and follow-up actions instead. Hence, it would continue whether Harapan wins or loses the election.

Among the groups that Bersatu would be targeting for its townhall sessions include vernacular schools, the media, women, youths and NGOs, including Malay movements such as Perkasa and Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma) and Islamic movements such as Angkatan Belia Islam Malaysia (Abim).

– M’kini