PETALING JAYA: Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has hit out at Tun Musa Hitam in a sarcasm-laced salvo on his blog.
Dr Mahathir said his “very good friend, colleague, former Umno deputy president and deputy prime minister" blamed him for failing to achieve Vision 2020 due to a failure to groom successors.
"My first failure was Tun Musa Hitam himself. He could not wait for me to retire. So he resigned after five years being with me as my deputy, in a government his boys called the MM (Mahathir-Musa) government.
“He believed the Umno supreme council would throw me out and appoint him as president. The council decided to persuade him to return as DPM and deputy president. He came back as deputy president,” Dr Mahathir said via chedet.cc on Thursday.
According to Dr Mahathir, Musa persuaded Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah - an “erstwhile rival and enemy” of Musa’s - to contest for presidency against him.
He said this was because Musa was prepared to be Umno deputy president and deputy prime minister under Tengku Razaleigh, despite the former premier overlooking his “bad faith”, and later appointing him as special envoy to the United Nations with ministerial rank.
“In the contest for presidency, Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar, Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tan Sri Rais Yatim sided with Tengku Razaleigh.
“I and Ghafar Baba won. Then I appointed all those who were not loyal to me as ministers in my cabinet. One of them, Tun Abdullah, eventually was named my successor as Prime Minister. Far from choosing only loyalists, I chose those disloyal to me,” said Dr Mahathir.
According to Dr Mahathir, he believed in leadership by example, and did not train anyone so they can make a success of Vision 2020.
“I must have set a bad example because those who succeeded me all failed to make a success of Vision 2020. I am to blame of course.
“Dear Musa, thank you very much for pinpointing the cause of the failure of Vision 2020. You must have known this in 1986, long before the Vision.
“It must have been your foresight which caused you to resign from the government I headed. So no one can blame you. Your service to me and the nation will go down in history,” Dr Mahathir concluded.
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