LAWYER and former minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has come to the defence of former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, saying that despite the veteran politician’s past mistakes, his contributions to the country are plenty and he “did much to uplift the Malays”.
“You can deride, ridicule and call him names, but as a Malay, I will not forget [Dr Mahathir’s] contributions to the country.
“He expanded education in the country and tried his best to get the Malays to learn mathematics and science in English.
“He expanded MARA in a big way and lifted ITM (Institut Teknologi MARA) into a university; he built infrastructures like ports, Penang bridges and the highways and [was the brainchild behind Putrajaya],” the former law minister tweeted today (July 4).
“OK he made mistakes; he destroyed the judiciary; others took advantage of him and corruption was rampant but he created wealth.
“Those who called him Mr Senile are children of the main beneficiaries of his policies. They are an ungrateful bunch, but the Malays will remember him.”
In the past few weeks, various quarters had slammed the 98-year-old politician for ramping up racial and religious rhetoric.
Recall that last week, Dr Mahathir had, in a lengthy diatribe against non-Malays, claimed that they want to “change the name and ownership” of Malaysia.
The former prime minister repeatedly alleged there was an attempt by people “from other countries” to shift Malaysia from being a tanah Melayu (land of the Malays) into a multiracial country.
He also claimed that these people refused to recognise the Malays as the founders, locals and builders of the country.
Just yesterday (July 3), the former Langkawi MP also went on the offensive and claimed that promoting Malaysia as a multiracial country was against the Federal Constitution, adding that the Constitution does not mention Malay as a multiracial country but instead “emphasises the ‘Malayness’ of Malaysia”.
Dr Mahathir had also gone on to train his guns on DAP, alleging that the party was holding Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim ransom with its numbers, claiming that the unity government will fall if DAP – which has 40 members in government – withdraws its support.
He said this was why Anwar had to adhere to DAP’s manifesto especially in making the country multiracial one and replacing the official religion of Islam with a secular country and turning Malaysia into a nation with no official religion. – July 4, 2023