PETALING JAYA - As a citizen of Malaysia, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad has the right to question the performance of the prime minister and the Government, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"I respect Tun Mahathir as I respect every other citizen of this country. It is the rakyat's every right to ask questions of me, to question my performance as Prime Minister, and the performance of the Government I lead," said the Prime Minister in a televised interview with TV3 on Thursday night.
He added, however, that he was answerable to the people, and not to any one individual.
"At the end of the day, we are a democracy. I was elected by my party, and by the people of this country, to lead them.
"As such, I am answerable only to the people - not to any one individual. And if at the next general election, the people want change, they will let us know through the ballot box," said Najib.
Dr Mahathir had up his criticism of Najib and the Government over the last week, criticising the Prime Minister via blog posts on his chedet.cc blog.
In a post last on April 2, Dr Mahathir stated that his criticisms of Najib were simply because he wanted to see Barisan Nasional win in the 14th general election.
"It will not win if Najib is the leader. I had great hopes when Najib took over from Abdullah (former premier Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi).
"But he (Najib) did even worse than Abdullah, losing more badly in Selangor where he was Umno head," Dr Mahathir had said.