PUTRAJAYA - Tun Mahathir Mohamad has sharply criticised Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and his government, saying they are weak and acceding to demands by extremists in the opposition.
The former prime minister has not criticised Datuk Seri Najib Razak since the latter took power in April 2009, and had praised him as better than former premier Abdullah Badawi.
"The political situation now is unstable because the perception is that the government is weak and the lunatic fringe now hold sway over politics in the country," Dr Mahathir said in Putrajaya on Monday, the Malaysian Insider reported.
"We have a government that is weak because of weak support from the people, and with a tendency to accede to the demands of extremists in the opposition," Dr Mahathir said.
He made the remarks during a keynote address on "Current political trends and their impact on economy and social direction" at the Perdana Leadership Foundation.
He said the appropriate response to such extremism was not to be accommodating, because the government would not gain anything but would instead face bigger problems.
"The moderates are normally voiceless. They don't speak their minds because they are afraid of being criticised by the extremists."
However, he did not name the extremists or say what their demands were.