DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang today responded to concerns aired by Dr Mahathir Mohamad about Anwar Ibrahim's ability to lead the country, saying the former prime minister himself bears at least some responsibility for the so-called Sheraton Move which saw the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in early 2020, just 22 months after it took control of Putrajaya.
In a statement, Lim said Anwar, who was sworn in as prime minister early this month, should "ignore Mahathir" and "learn the most important lesson of the 22-month PH government: carry out as many of the 'reformasi' institutional reforms in the early months of the new government as he may not have five years".
"Mahathir missed the historic opportunity to make Malaysia great again and this is a mistake which Anwar should not repeat," he added.
"Although the Mahathir PH government was toppled unconstitutionally and illegally by the Sheraton Move political conspiracy, Mahathir cannot fully absolve himself of responsibility for the Sheraton Move conspiracy."
Mahathir, Anwar's long-time nemesis who joined hands with PH to lead the coalition to a historic victory over Barisan Nasional (BN) at the 2018 election, had questioned Anwar's ability to steer Malaysia out of its economic woes and to resolve other post-pandemic challenges.
He also said the PH chairman appeared focused on maintaining his support in the Dewan Rakyat, through the disparate coalition of political blocs that came together to back him after the inconclusive results of the Nov 19 polls.
Mahathir, who completed an unprecedented two stints as prime minister, said the PKR president had been unable to come up with a solution in the face of the 1997 financial crisis, and was now facing more complicated problems.
"At that time, it seemed that he could not find a way to overcome the crisis," he said in an interview with Berita Harian.
"Whether in the future, he can find a way to deal with the country's problems, we cannot yet determine. But based on his experience when he was the deputy prime minister, I'm afraid.
"Right now, the country is facing many problems such as the effects of the pandemic, the declining economy and an unstable political situation.
"The people are still not happy with the state of the country. There are many problems that Anwar's government needs to deal with," he added.
Lim however urged Anwar to fulfil his promise not to compromise on good governance, the anti-corruption drive, judicial independence, and the welfare of the people.
"He should be aware that there are political forces which are conspiring to end his premiership as early as possible," the former Iskandar Puteri MP added.