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Mahathir slams ‘cruel dictatorship’ under Anwar

The former prime minister says government critics are being prevented from voicing their dissatisfaction.

Azzman Abdul Jamal
2 minute read
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim waves as he arrives at the Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur, Dec 19, 2022.
Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim waves as he arrives at the Parliament building in Kuala Lumpur, Dec 19, 2022.

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today accused the administration led by Anwar Ibrahim of being a cruel dictatorship, claiming that government critics were being prevented from voicing their dissatisfaction. 

Mahathir also said that Anwar had done far worse during his time in the opposition, citing demonstrations which he said had resulted in damaged property. 

“The people have the right to rebuke the government, but not only does it reject this, it is ready to take action against its opponents, to catch them and put them in jail, and so on.

“This is so that at the election to come, there will be no opposition, only the government parties which can win without any contest at all,” he said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur. 

His comments came two days after Anwar warned of the full force of the law against those whom he said were out to create chaos in the country. 

Mahathir also accused the government of bias in matters of corruption, saying investigations have been focused on opposition parties. 

“As if they themselves are not involved in corruption,” he added. 

“In fact, we know that they are. They fought against corruption but they don’t want to fight against themselves because they are also involved in corrupt activities. 

“This is why the government is not taking rebukes from anyone.” 

Mahathir also denied claims that he had enriched his own children during his time in the top office, challenging his accusers to show proof of their allegations. 

If they had no proof, he said, he had the right to take the appropriate action. 

“If you have proof, please show it,” he said. 

“I never allowed my children to enter politics. Here, on the other hand, not just the person himself but his wife and children all get special treatment. 

“This is the government that we see now. I hope the people will realise instead of following stories that aren’t true.”