KUALA LUMPUR - Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) was visibly absent from the Merdeka celebration on Monday after creating controversy for attending the Bersih 4 rally.
The former prime minister ruffled some feathers when he attended the two-day rally held here.
He is known to attend Merdeka celebration every year.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Salleh Keruak confirmed Dr Mahathir's absence.
"He is invited but he replied that he would not attend," said Dr Mohd Salleh briefly said when contacted.
Dr Mahathir's presence at the rally was criticised by Umno leaders including party vice-president Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein.
Hishammuddin said Dr Mahathir should not have gone against his own principles by joining a street protest.
"Don't burn the entire net just because of one mosquito," the Defence Minister wrote in his Facebook posting recently.
He said it was unbecoming of a respected statesman to show support for the protest which posed a threat to national harmony in the run up to National Day celebration.