Dr M: I shouldn't have acted against Anwar
The former PM says if he could turn back time, he might not have sacked his deputy.
Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he should not have taken the action against Anwar Ibrahim in 1998.
PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday acknowledged he had made the wrong decision by âgoing by the law completelyâ in sacking Anwar Ibrahim as his deputy 20 years ago.
In an interview with Sin Chew Daily, he said he should not have acted against Anwar in that manner when the allegations against him cropped up.
If he could turn back time, Mahathir added, he might not have sacked Anwar.
âFrom the political point of view, I would not have done this. When I was the prime minister, I promised myself no t to do anything that would make people hate me.â
However, the Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman said he had no choice as the police had presented all the evidence to him in 1998.
He also denied it was his call to sack Anwar as Umnoâs deputy president, saying it had been the collective decision of the partyâs Supreme Council.
âWe had a Supreme Council meeting until 4am. Everyone had a chance to speak.
âThey not only didnât want him to be deputy president, they also didnât want him in the party.
âIt was not my decision.â
Mahathir, who is also PPBM chairman, said if he was a dictator as many had labelled him, he could have put Anwar directly in jail instead of giving him a trial.
âI was angry with the police. They didnât tell me initially but later said they had given him a black eye.
âBut I insisted that he be given a trial.â
Anwar, the 70-year-old PKR leader, is serving five yearsâ jail for s odomising a former aide, a charge he has said was politically motivated.
He cannot run for political office for five years after his release unless the king pardons him. He is due for release from prison on June 8.
In the interview, Mahathir said he would not return to Umno even if its president Najib Razak stepped down, neither would he form a coalition government, even without the prime minister.
He expressed hope that Umno members who were unhappy with Najib would support PH in the coming general election.
He was also confident that PPBM could help PH get more Malay votes to win Putrajaya this time around.
Source: Google News