FORMER premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad fiercely criticised Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s administration, accusing it of being a dictatorship and oppressive after an event in which he was to be the keynote speaker was cancelled three times.Dr Mahathir’s comments come in response to legal actions and purported restrictions targeting government critics and opposition lawmakers. However, Anwar says his actions are legal actions taken against people who are throwing baseless, fake news at him and his government. During a candid press conference held today, Dr Mahathir highlighted the alleged hypocrisy of Anwar’s administration, which had previously protested against the Barisan Nasional (BN) led government’s policies and actions.
Dr Mahathir emphasised the Malays’ loss of power under the current administration’s “multiracial” approach.“The Malays, founders of this country, can’t even gather under this new government, a dictatorship,” he said, adding that people’s right to gather and criticise the government is being suppressed.
The press conference took place after the Proklamasi Orang Melayu gathering was cancelled.Moreover, Dr Mahathir expressed confusion over the event’s cancellation, as attendees were law-abiding citizens voicing their concerns on Malay affairs. He also accused the current administration of censoring news coverage of his efforts to unite the Malays and criticism against the government. Furthermore, Dr Mahathir lashed out at the administration for showing increasing intolerance towards free speech and attacking critics. He accused the prime minister of orchestrating the sudden cancellation of the Malay solidarity event in Kuala Lumpur. He claimed that he had no proof but was confident that the cancellation wouldn’t have occurred without the prime minister’s instruction or approval. Dr Mahathir highlighted the filtered media, stating that any negative information about the government is not allowed to be broadcast. He also claimed that the government’s portrayal of Malaysia as a multiracial country denies the special rights of the Malays, the country’s original inhabitants. — March 19, 2023
Main photo credit: The Edge Markets