Dr Mahathir amused by Kuan Yew jibe, says will respond to Pak Lah's remarks


  • Nation
  • Thursday, 08 Aug 2013

PUTRAJAYA: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he will respond to scathing remarks by his successor Tun Abdullah Badawi in the book, Awakening: The Abdullah Badawi Years in Malaysia, in due course.

"I am studying the book.

"I will make some reference about it along the way," he told reporters at the Prime Minister's open house in Seri Perdana here Thursday.

Abdullah, in the book, attributes Dr Mahathir's strained relationship with him following his ascendancy to the top post to his (Dr Mahathir's) "inability to accept any other view except his own."

The remarks are found in the soon-to-be-released book's first chapter, A Conversation With Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, conducted with Prof Bridget Welsh and Prof James U.H. Chin.

The book contains writings from contributors such as Mohamed Khir Toyo, Liew Chin Tong and Edmund Terence Gomez.

Abdullah was not the only political heavyweight who threw a punch Dr Mahathir's way the past week.

In his latest book, One Man's Views of the World, Singapore's founding father and former premier Lee Kuan Yew questioned if Malaysia was well on its goal to become progressive as a Muslim nation.

Dr Mahathir, 88, was swarmed by reporters at Thursday's open house, all eager for his feedback on criticism against him by two of his prominent old friends.

But the ever-witty Dr Mahathir took Lee's criticism in his stride.

"He's 90 years old. We give allowance, allowance like people would give to me also.

"He is entitled to his opinion where there is free speech, especially in Singapore," Dr Mahathir said.

Among other things, Lee said Malaysia was once a "relaxed" country but has now become "much more orthodox under the influence of the Middle Eastern states".

"They used to serve liquor at dinners and drink with you.

"When I was there, the Tunku would invite his friends over and drink whisky and brandy with them.

"Now, they toast each other in syrups," Singapore's former Minister Mentor was quoted saying in the book.

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