TAIPING: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has openly given his approval to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, saying that the current government was for the people.
The former prime minister said his confidence in Najib grew following his willingness to get up close and personal with the people by meeting the masses on his second day as Prime Minister.
“I have full confidence that Datuk Seri Najib can address the problems in the country. I am also confident that he will take Malaysia to new heights benefiting all the races in the country,” he told a crowd of thousands at Dataran PPP near here yesterday.
Speaking to reporters after attending a luncheon with civil servants and the business community here, Dr Mahathir said he would not accept any position in the Cabinet, including as Senior Minister, if offered.
“No, no, no. No position in Cabinet. No position at all,” he said. He said he would just be sharing his experiences of running the government with the new leadership.
Dr Mahathir also hit out at critics who labelled Najib’s leadership as a return to Mahathirism.
“What is wrong with Mahathirism? The country developed in its 22 years under Mahathirism,” he said.
Asked if he would continue to be critical of the Government, he said he would only do so if the Government under performed.
“In the past, when the Government did not perform, I criticised. I also criticised myself. That’s my habit,” he said.
Dr Mahathir was also asked if his son Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir and Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin should be in the Cabinet.
“I’m biased towards my son, so it is wrong to ask me,” he said.
He also hoped that Umno members who had left the party would return to the fold.
“Times has changed. The Government today is truly for the people. So I am urging those who had left Umno, please come back,” he said, adding that the present administration was taking steps to address the people’s unhappiness.
In Sungai Petani, Dr Mahathir was again greeted by a sea of people and it took him almost 20 minutes to reach the rostrum as the crowd converged to get a glimpse of him.
In his speech, he called on the various races in the country to make sacrifices in the interest of peace and harmony. He said Bukit Selambau was an example of a sacrifice where Barisan had fielded MIC member Datuk S. Ganesan in a Malay-majority constituency.
“We allow an Indian to contest and the Malays must support him as the Indians would support a Malay candidate in other areas,” he told a rally at the Mara Skills Institute.
He quipped that the large turnout yesterday was enticing him to return to active politics “but no, as I am too old and we need to allow others to take over.”
Source : The Star