Pakatan Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad said relatively speaking, Malaysia was a peaceful country until a “crook, thief and robber” showed up.

Mahathir said Malaysians love their country as it gave the people a good life, although it is true that we may not be so close as to go hugging one another.

He said Malaysians live in peace and harmony compared to countries in the Middle East like Iraq, Syria or Yemen, where the same ethnic groups are at war, killing one another.

“But even though we have our differences, we do not riot and kill each other; we have many races and tribes yet we are very peaceful,” he told a crowd of 3,000 at the ‘Sayangi Malaysia, Hapuskan Kleptokrasi” hosted by the DAP in Penang last night.

“I admit we are not completely harmonious, but we can gather in this crowd and not fear that some of us may throw a bomb. We are safe.

“ In other countries, if there is a crowd, someone may throw a bomb – for these, we have to be grateful,” said the former premier.

“Yes, there were differences between us but we are able to tolerate.

“This was until came a thief, robber and crook […], and so we are in trouble,” he said to cheers from the crowd.

Daily salvos

Once Mahathir’s protege, Prime Minister Najib Razak fell out of favour with his former boss at the height of the 1MDB scandal. The sovereign fund is currently being investigated in several countries, including the United States where the Department of Justice has alleged money laundering activities.

Mahathir has been firing daily salvos against Najib since it was exposed RM2.6 billion had been transferred to the prime minister’s personal bank accounts prior to the 13 national polls in 2013.

Najib has denied taking public funds for personal gain, while attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali (photo) has cleared him of all wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, Mahathir, sporting a red shirt with a large print of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s flower logo, said the rakyat is not at war, but the prime minister has allegedly done much wrong like “buying support for himself, abuse of power and trying to divide people of different races”.

In his 40 minute speech, the Bersatu chairperson said the boundaries of constituencies are allegedly being changed to separate the Chinese and Malay voters.

“Najib believes the Chinese will not support him and I believe the same […], but he tried to save himself by separating the Malays in the hope they will support him.

“But believe me, the Malays will not support him,” he added to loud applause from the crowd.

Mahathir said he knew this because he was on the ground on a daily basis, citing a recent event in Selama, Perak on Friday, which according to him, drew a 8,000 crowd, mostly Malays.

Describing the matter as strange, Mahathir said most of the crowd who attended the ceramah were allegedly Umno and PAS members.

“They sit in the dark because they are afraid that Najib would recognise them. This is Najib’s dictatorship rule. If he sees Umno or PAS members, he will give them a warning not to attend our events, but later he will feed them with dedak (bran).

“Dedak will be fed to your eyes, mouths and ears – you will be blind, deaf and dumb.”

Apart from Mahathir, Penang Chief Minister and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, MPs Lim Kit Siang (Gelang Patah) and M Kulasegaran (Ipoh Barat), Amanah president Mohamed Sabu and PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution also gave speeches at the event.

– M’kini