JERLUN: Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir (pic) could not avoid bringing up the past as he addressed the crowd gathered for a Pakatan Harapan ceramah in his former stronghold here on Saturday (May 5).
His opening statements were directed at Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, who ousted Mukhriz from the very same position two years ago.
"I read a statement by him recently, where he said something along the lines of 'Mukhriz who was once lemah lembut (gentle) is now good at insults (pandai mencerca)'.
"For the record, I am neither 'lemah' (weak) nor 'lembut' (soft), I am merely courteous and there is a difference," he said.
Mukhriz had been Jerlun MP for one term after the 2008 election. In 2013, he contested and won the Ayer Hitam state seat.
His victory then paved the way for him to be sworn in as Mentri Besar the same year, but he was ousted due to a loss of confidence by the state exco in 2016.
"I can go from courteous to strict, especially when some people intentionally held a press conference back then, claiming Kedahans no longer wanted me as their Mentri Besar."
Mukhriz also insisted that he had always been courteous and the other state leaders should have respected that, and treated him in the same manner.
However, he claimed they had made "all sorts of statements" not just to topple him but to ensure Ahmad Bashah was propelled to the top position.
"There is no need to say I have changed my attitude or that I am good at insulting people now. An injustice has happened and I want to reclaim my dignity," he said.
On another matter, Mukhriz said if Pakatan won the state, it would review and revamp the Village Development and Security Committee (JKKK) to be more transparent and non-partisan.
"As an ex-chief for Kedah Umno, I have seen what happens at the village level, the people are still poor and this should not be the situation in this day and age.
"The JKKK system has a lot of political problems plaguing it which encourages favouritism and so certain issues do not reach the top leadership for action," he said.
Mukhriz will be contesting the Jerlun parliamentary and Jitra state seats in GE14