Friday, May 23, 2008

Mahathir fires back at Musa and Shahrir

Mahathir fires back at Musa and Shahrir

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has shot back at two Umno veterans who criticised him and said their comments "has really tickled my heart."

He took a pot shot at his former deputy Tun Musa Hitam who had described him as 'thorn in the flesh' and chastised Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad whom he said had forgotten how he was allowed to return to Umno after being out of the party.

"Tun Musa Hitam claimed that I was a thorn in the flesh that has now been removed. Has Tun (Musa Hitam) forgotten that he was a thorn in the flesh in Umno back in 1986-1987 when he was the deputy prime minister appointed by me?"

"He resigned as deputy prime minister and Umno deputy president because he wanted me to step down as the Prime Minister and be replaced by him. Following an appeal by Supreme Council members, he returned as Umno deputy president as he still had intentions to bring me down.

"That is why he instigated his worst enemy, Tengku Razaleigh (Hamzah), to fight against me," Dr Mahathir claimed in his blog Thursday.

Dr Mahathir claimed that the former DPM hated him so much that he was willing to allow his political enemy to contest the party presidency although Musa Hitam, he claimed had previously appealed to him to help him win the deputy president post from Tengku Razaleigh.

"In the end, Umno fell apart and the splinter party Semangat 46 was formed, which he cleverly did not join. I then appointed him as a Minister-level messenger to United Nations.

"Tengku Razaleigh on the other hand, was out of Umno and became Tun's (Musa Hitam's) victim. Congrats Tun," Dr Mahathir said in his posting.

Dr Mahathir was commenting on a report aired on local television on May 19, following his decision to leave Umno that same day, a move that shocked many. Musa Hitam's comments had irked some Umno members while others felt it was a "personal opinion".

On Shahrir, Dr Mahathir said the Domestic trade and Consumer Affairs Minister had forgotten how he had left Umno and became an independent candidate to fight against Umno in a by-election using the key symbol.

"Who are you (Shahrir) to criticise me? If it weren't for Tun Musa's sister who as the then Johor Baru Wanita chief, who came to my house early in the morning to appeal that you be allowed to return to Umno, you would have become a thorn in Umno's flesh for a longer period.

"Although you berated me in the by-election, I agreed to let you back in," he added.

He congratulated Shahrir for becoming a minister once again but advised him to "take good care of the price of goods instead of commenting about me."

Dr Mahathir who is currently attending a conference in Tokyo, Japan, ended his posting with the phrase 'Tepuk dulang paku serpih, katakan orang awak yang lebih’. (You are accusing others when you are far worse).