PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is a hypocrite for promising freedom of speech for the people and media if Pakatan Harapan and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia win the general election, said MCA’s Datuk Seri Ti Lian Ker.
“It is hypocrisy of the highest order, especially since it was during his tenure that the Internal Security Act (ISA) was used against people, activists and politicians who wielded divergent opinions,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Dr Mahathir, who is Pribumi chairman, made the pledge at the party’s inaugural annual general assembly on Saturday.
He also apologised for his past mistakes made when he was the prime minister.
Ti, who is MCA’s religious harmony bureau chairman, refuted Dr Mahathir’s claims that his predecessors made more arrests during their tenure.
He said the leaders had respected the legal system, the spirit of the law, the Federal Constitution and the ISA, and had never changed or abused them to suit their whims.
“Those arrests were made at the height of the Communist insurgency to safeguard the nation, not to safeguard or extend their political careers,” Ti added.
“Dr Mahathir was just trying to pass the blame for his mistakes to the present administration.
“The pattern continued when he piled criticism against his immediate successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, leading to the latter relinquishing the premiership.”