Malaysia

Don’t fear jail or death, Kit Siang tells Dr M

June 14, 2012
Latest Update: June 15, 2012 02:38 am

KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should not fear ending up like Middle Eastern dictators Muammar Gadaffi or Hosni Mubarak if he is innocent of any power abuse during his 22 years in power, the DAP's Lim Kit Siang told the country's longest-serving prime minister today.

The veteran lawmaker was responding to Dr Mahathir's latest blog posting yesterday attacking him for working hard to ensure the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition pact fails to capture Putrajaya in the 13th general elections, which are rumoured will be called this year ahead of the ruling Barisan Nasional's (BN) mandate expiring next year.

"It is quite  unworthy and  dishonourable for Tun Dr Mahathir  to imply in his blog 'My Fears' yesterday that I am 'inspired by what happened to Gadaffi and Mubarak' and that I would 'love' to see him 'dragged to the courts and sentenced to death or to at least a life sentence' and 'Maybe like Gadaffi I would be murdered'.

"Let me assure the fourth Malaysian prime minister that there is no need for him to fear he will end up like Gadaffi or Mubarak," Lim said in a statement today..

He added: "I do not even want to see him in jail but he must not block full investigations into the host of financial and political scandals during his 22 years as prime minister."

Gadaffi was an army colonel who ruled Libya from 1969 after seizing power from King Idris in a bloodless military coup until he was killed in a civil revolution last year.

Egypt's Mubarak was ousted from power in February last year after 30 years in a similar revolution that swept the Middle East. He was sentenced to life imprisonment earlier this month by an Egyptian court for the murder of thousands of peaceful protestors during a Cairo demonstration in early 2011.

The Ipoh-Timur MP has previously pledged PR will set up a royal inquiry panel to investigate the influential Dr Mahathir (picture) for alleged corruption and power abuse during his many years in power from 1981 to 2003 if it succeeds in wresting control of the federal government from BN at the next polls.

Lim has blamed Dr Mahathir as the person responsible for a series of financial scandals, including the 1992 foreign exchange (forex) market disaster in which Bank Negara was said to have lost up to RM30 billion, for currency speculation.

He has also repeatedly accused Dr Mahathir of having "subverted" key public institutions from the judiciary, the Attorney-General's Chambers, the police, the Election Commission and the civil service to protect his personal interests.

"Mahathir has claimed innocence to any abuse of power in his 22 years as prime minister.

"It is for him to prove his case to  the nation, future generations and history," Lim said today.

Dr Mahathir, an avid blogger since stepping down from office in 2003, defended himself on his chedet website yesterday by going on the offense against Lim.