PETALING JAYA – Prime Minister Najib Razak’s policy speech at the Umno general assembly shows the stark difference between the prime minister and Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a former Umno politician said.
Saifuddin Abdullah said Mahathir seems to be more articulate than Najib.
“Najib has no answers to Mahathir’s criticism of him, especially on 1MDB issues.
“So he resorts to this kind of poor rebuttals,” he told FMT.
He was asked to comment on Najib’s attacks on Mahathir during his speech at the Umno general assembly in Kuala Lumpur.
Saifuddin said Najib was clearly lacking in issues to hit back at Mahathir.
Due to that, Saifuddin, who is the current Pakatan Harapan chief secretary, said Najib raised the Bugis issue to gain sympathy.
Mahathir, on Oct 14, when speaking at a gathering organised by opposition parties, had alleged that Najib’s ancestors might have been linked to “Bugis pirates”.
Saifuddin claimed: “It is very clear that Mahathir was harping on the ‘lanun’ (pirate) character of Najib.
“I think, lacking real answers, Najib is now trying to get sympathy from the Bugis fraternity.”
Melayu mudah lupa (Malays easily forget)
The Umno president had also said Mahathir’s “Melayu Mudah Lupa” (Malays forget easily) poem was in fact a reference to himself.
“Mahathir once stood on this stage and proclaimed that Malays forget easily.
“Yet to us, this man crossed the line when he collaborated with those who have been his political enemies for a few decades,” Najib said
Saifuddin said the theme of the poem was based on a struggle or a cause, which was relevant to the current scandals, alluding to 1MDB controversy and the RM2.6 billion deposited into the prime minister’s personal account.
Saifuddin reminded Najib that the nation was now faced with the negative consequences of having a “kleptocratic” reputation.
He was referring to the recent statement by the US attorney-general who described the multi-billion dollar corruption scandal involving the Malaysian state fund 1MDB as the worst form of kleptocracy.
“I don’t think Najib understands the poem.
“Any thinking Malaysian can now compare the intellectual strength of the two,” Saifuddin said.