Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says his former mentor, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, was afraid of him becoming Selangor menteri besar.
“It seems that everything is Anwar’s fault. Ops Lalang is also my fault even though the prime mminister at the time was Dr Mahathir, not me,” said Anwar at a ceramah last night in Taman Impian Murni, Kajang.
Anwar was a deputy prime minister from 1993 until his sacking in 1998 over allegations of sodomy and corruption. The former finance minister once had a close relationship with Dr Mahathir that turned sour over disagreements at how best to run the country.
Eventually, Anwar turned from Dr Mahathir’s staunch ally to his greatest critic.
“If this is not enough, now suddenly I am said to be pro-United States. He also tries to pit PAS and PKR, too. All this is proof that he is afraid that I may become the Selangor menteri besar,” he said hours after the country’s longest prime minister had suggested yesterday that Anwar was an American stooge.
Dr Mahathir said that Malaysia would suffer the same fate as Middle Eastern countries which were now pro-US after undergoing “regime changes”.
“If you want a pro-US government here, vote for Anwar,” he told reporters yesterday morning.
Last week, Dr Mahathir had suggested that Anwar played a “key role” in the Ops Lalang security crackdown of 1987 by virtue of being a member of the administration.
Last night, during his hour-long ceramah, Anwar said Dr Mahathir could anticipate that Pakatan Rakyat’s charge to Putrajaya had gone up several notches with his expected presence in the Selangor administration.
Although the crowd was small, Anwar dazzled them as he had been doing since he started stumping for the Kajang seat.
Anwar drew laughter when he introduced himself as the “TV3 and RTM’s number one star".
Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, who also spoke earlier at the ceramah, said Dr Mahathir was doing his best to stoke distrust among the Pakatan Rakyat allies.
He said it was odd that the former prime minister was “suddenly concerned about Selangor PAS’s situation in the state even though the Islamist party had been a victim during Dr Mahathir’s time in government”.
"This is Dr Mahathir's dirty tactic, Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) like to get PKR, PAS and DAP to fight. Since when was he ever interested in PAS's wellbeing?”
Khalid said PAS would not be swayed by Dr Mahathir and Umno’s tactics.
“PAS will support Anwar in Selangor. We will continue to be his friend,” he said.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang, PKR Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin, deputy Selangor speaker Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, PKR Kuala Langat MP Abdullah Sani and DAP Kepong MP Tan Seng Giaw also spoke at the ceramah.
The Kajang by-election is being called following the surprise resignation by PKR’s Lee Chin Cheh.
The unforced resignation has fuelled talk that Anwar plans to join the state assembly for the purpose of removing current Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim from office.
The Election Commission has set March 23 as polling date for the Kajang by-election, the country’s third since the general election last May. – February 18, 2014.