Police ordered Ops Lalang for national security, says Dr Mahathir

Tun Mahathir Mohamad

PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is hitting back against critics who blame him for the infamous Operasi Lalang in 1987, saying that the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) ordered it to be carried out on the grounds of national security.

In a statement yesterday, Dr Mahathir pointed to a video released in 2011, where former Inspector-General of Police Tun Hanif Omar said it was he who directed the police to carry out Operasi Lalang, despite Dr Mahathir refusing it.

In the video, Hanif said the operation was an attempt by the police to restore order in the country after a soldier named Adam Jaafar ran amok in Chow Kit armed with an assault rifle on Oct 17, 1987.

“Ops Lalang happened when I was Prime Minister. I did not order it,” Dr Mahathir said.

“A prime minister has to listen to the opinion of the police as they are responsible for the security of the nation, and their advice cannot be simply brushed aside.”

Dr Mahathir said the parties in Pakatan Harapan had always blamed him for Operasi Lalang, but gladly accepted him as a colleague and their prime minister candidate when it served their objectives.

“During the time I was the fourth Prime Minister, Anwar had weekly demonstrations and I did not stop him.

“But now that he is Prime Minister, he does not allow Malays to even discuss the problems that they face,” he added.

Dr Mahathir said the pro-Malay gathering, which was cancelled last week, was not to blame other races for the Malays’ misfortunes, but to blame crooked Malay leaders who did not help the Malays overcome poverty.

“If we cannot find a solution for the problems faced by the Malays, then we must assume that it is the government’s wish to promote poverty among Malays.

“The bias against the Malays is a manifestation of the government’s racism, and it is sedition because it is against the country’s constitution,” he added.

Last Sunday, Dr Mahathir denounced Anwar as an “oppressive leader” after his attempt to hold a gathering in the city failed to materialise.

The former prime minister said the cancellation of venues for the planned gathering on Sunday was uncalled for as the organisers only wanted to get together and sign a proclamation on the situation of Malays in the country.

The gathering was forced to be cancelled after three venues cancelled the organiser’s bookings.

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