- Published on Thursday, 12 November 2015 17:35
- Written by Intan Zulaika Arfudi
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (Tun M) might have come closest to revealing his true intentions yesterday all these months after carrying out a media attack on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, that he wants a say in the way the country is run by proposing that a council of elders advice the prime minister.
Well, it is obvious now in the eyes of many Malaysians that Tun M has been increasingly desperate to establish his presence in the current government after his statements to reporters at a press conference after attending the Malaysian War on Corruption Symposium yesterday.
"Whatever the prime minister does will be okayed by the Cabinet.
"If there is an outside council appointed by other people, they may not agree with him all the time.
"They can give their opinions, which the PM may not necessarily accept, but at least it will allow him to hear other opinions," Tun M said, in response to criticism levelled at him earlier of trying to be the de facto PM.
Tun M had taken the opportunity to fire back at Tawfik Ismail, a member of the G25 group of moderates and the son of the former deputy Prime Minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman who had publicly accused Tun M of trying to be the de facto Prime Minister by proposing a "council of elders".
“I know he doesn’t like me. Why should he come and see me with the others is something beyond me. Obviously he comes with very bad intentions and these kinds of people, we cannot trust,” Tun M said referring to a meeting he had with Tawfik and the G25 Group of Moderates a few months back.
Tun M stated that he had always known Tawfik’s hypocritical approach towards him.
He added, “In front of me, he was nice, he even appeared to be supportive but when he went out, of course it was a different matter.”
Tawfik claims came about following his interview with an online news portal in association with the launch of his new project, Drifting into Politics, a collection of articles by his late father.
In the interview, Tawfik shared his experiences as one of the members of the G25 group of moderates and their meetings with the Tun M and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“I was taken aback. It struck me as being very authoritarian. It wasn’t something that would be considered in any democracy unless there was a state of emergency,” stated Tawfik referring to Tun M’s plans to establish a "council of elders" to assist the country’s future Prime Ministers.
Tun M did not specify what role he intends to have in this ‘council of elders’ but it was obvious to many that he will be a central figure in the plan.
While the G25 group of moderates was flattered that the country’s top figures have came to them for support, Tawfik had personally concluded that they were only using them as a platform to work on their quest to take down Prime Minister Najib Razak in response to risks of being dropped from UMNO.
“The fact that they wanted to use the G25 intrigued me but we didn’t want to take sides. It made us uncomfortable because we weren’t expecting to be an audience to that kind of conversation,” said Tawfik.
Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Keruak had also commented on Tun M's 'council of elders' suggestion in his blog posting earlier this week by pointing out that the whole notion was against the Federal Constitution and that Tun M was repeating a stale suggestion which he had mooted in 2008.
“More than seven years later and he is still pushing for that to be implemented although there is no such system in the Constitution or in a Westminster of government,” he wrote on his personal blog.
“While he is prepared to allow Malaysians to decide what system they want, Dr Mahathir wants to dictate who should be PM and will not allow Malaysians to make that decision,” Salleh pointed out the obvious conclusion.
- Malaysian Digest