In a stinging response against his critics, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad suggested that they were fools for failing to see what his administration has achieved.
Dr Mahathir today said only the “blind, deaf and dumb” would say there is no difference between his administration and that of the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
He said some people only saw the bad things even when there were a lot of changes and reforms that had been introduced in making the administration more efficient, effective and transparent.
“Did we borrow RM42 billion? Did we have our own 1MDB?
“We are going to limit the term of PM (prime minister) to two terms. Did Najib do that? We debate on 1MDB, but did Najib allow debates on 1MDB and anything else? Nothing…to say there is no difference, only a blind, deaf and dumb person will say that.”
The prime minister was asked to comment on a statement by DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang that there were people who were going all out to undermine Pakatan Harapan (PH).
Lim claimed there are forces bent on breaking the ruling coalition by employing strategies aimed at pitting PH component parties against each other.
But Lim was also confident that PH could withstand the pressure, saying the parties have come a long way since they first banded by setting aside their ideological differences, an impressive victory on its own.
Dr Mahathir said he agreed with his PH peer.
“I agree with Kit Siang. People say we are like BN. Did I steal money? Did I bribe people?” the prime minister quipped.
“If I have, then go ahead and lodge a report against me, let (the authorities) investigate.”
The prime minister added that those who were close to him when Najib was the prime minister were punished but Najib’s friends are not being treated like that despite his fall from power.
“We had restriction on news before, you know. If you make friends with me, you would get into trouble in Najib’s time.
“But now, there are lots of people who are very close to Najib, going around and making funny assertions like ‘Cash is king but by king I mean the people’.
“How idiotic can you be? Am I like that? Do I make a stupid assertion like that?” he said.
Mahathir also cited the continued objections to the implementation of jawi khat lessons in primary schools as an example of alleged attempts to undermine the government.
“Well, you don’t want it, okay. You don’t have to take it. We keep telling you over and over again – It is optional.
“You don’t have to take it. But no, you must do this and that. But for people who want to take it, what is the problem? That’s their choice.
“You don’t want to take it, don’t take it. I can’t understand this kind (of people),” he told journalists in Kuala Lumpur today.
He said these people did not appreciate the good things that they had received from PH’s leadership.
“They say there is no difference (between PH and BN)…they only see the bad things because they want to bring down this government,” he said.