BANGI: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) has a right to express his opinion on the Government but must respect its current leadership, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
"A leader chosen by the people needs to be respected by everyone, including Dr Mahathir.
"When he was still prime minister, Dr Mahathir demanded loyalty from everybody.
"I'm sure (Prime Minister) Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak demands the same loyalty," he told a press conference here Tuesday.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said that being on the receiving end of negative comments and unfavourable opinion pieces was the price politicians had to pay for being on social media.
"A leader is defined by his era. There was no social media before but many now.
"It is important to understand that negative comments are the personal opinions of social media users, including Dr Mahathir," he said at UKM Bangi.
When asked if there were requests for Najib's resignation from Umno, Dr Ahmad Zahid said no such requests were made on any branch or divisional levels.
Dr Mahathir wrote in his chedet.cc blog Monday that he had lost faith in the Government as his repeated advice against some of its policies had gone unheeded.
He alleged that Najib's administration had failed to learn a lesson from Barisan Nasional's poor performance in the 13th General Election, and continued to introduce policies that were destroying interracial relations and the country's economy.
"I have no choice but to withdraw my support. That too has not worked. Therefore, I have no choice but to criticise," he said in his post.