Dr M can criticise Najib but do it privately, say ex-MPs

Dr M can criticise Najib but do it privately, say ex-MPs
Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad

KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has the right to criticise the Prime Minister but his views must be expressed in private, said Mubarak, the council of former parliamentarians.

While Dr Mahathir was free to air his opinion, it would ultimately be up to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to make decisions on how best to run the country, added Mubarak.

Council president Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Rahman said the Mahathir-Najib spat was a cause for concern, adding that Mubarak's 826 members hoped both leaders would settle their differences behind closed doors, not via public domain.

"We are of the opinion that while Dr Mahathir is free to voice his opinion, the way it is done (openly) is inappropriate," he said.

"It will only pull the government down. His actions are giving the Opposition ammunition to attack Barisan Nasional.

"If he has things to say to Najib, the former prime minister should do it in private."

Aziz said that while Mubarak respected Dr Mahathir, who is its patron, the council also supported Najib's leadership and wanted him to continue administrating the country.

Dr Mahathir has been critical of Najib's administration, especially on the issue of 1Malaysia Development Berhad and BR1M.

Aziz said all parties should wait for the outcome of the Auditor-General's and the Public Accounts Committee's investigations on 1MDB before "jumping to conclusions".

On Dr Mahathir's accusation of Najib's lavish lifestyle, Aziz said Mubarak did not want to delve into personal issues but pointed out that the Prime Minister came from a well-established, prominent family.

Aziz also said the decision to increase salaries of Members of Parliament and Senators would benefit former lawmakers whose current pension "makes us eligible for BR1M handouts".

Currently, lawmakers and senators who serve full term are eligible for a pension of between RM2,000 (S$740) and RM3,000.

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