Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has chided Dr Mahathir Mohamad for echoing the opposition's "malicious rumours" about his wife Rosmah Mansor and family.
"For example, in a recent speech in Ipoh, he (Mahathir) cited a fictitious statement that the opposition has been peddling through the use of a doctored Utusan Malaysia article.
"Also, he regurgitated a false smear started by the opposition at the time of the last general election that my wife owned a RM24 million ring.
"It is a lie, and the company that owned the ring clarified in detail at the time that such a ring was never bought by Rosmah," he said in a continuation of his frequently asked questions (FAQ) series.
Najib expressed regret that someone of Mahathir's stature should pass on such slander to the people.
Why does he attack me now?
The prime minister also accused Mahathir of parroting the opposition in raising the purchase of the replacement government jet, claiming that the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong does not use the jet and calling him a liar.
“But again this is false – His Majesty was in fact the first VIP passenger to use the newly arrived aircraft for a trip to Langkawi, and will continue to do so,” he added.
Najib noted that Mahathir often claims that he is doing something because of what people tell him when they come to see him.
“However, he should check whether such hearsay and claims have any evidence and truth before airing them.
“He knows well that many allegations were made about what happened under his administration. And always Tun’s answer was: ‘Where is the proof?’ He should be applying the same test to what he hears,” he added.
The prime minister also questioned Mahathir’s timing in launching attacks against him.
“Although much has been achieved in the first six years of my administration, all of the progress that our country and BN has made are being ignored in favour of baseless allegations and lies started by the opposition.
“Much of what Mahathir has said lacks objectivity and is downright wrong. The question should be asked – what is Mahathir’s motivation in choosing this moment to regurgitate smears manufactured by the very opposition groups that he previously denounced as liars?” he aid.
However, Najib said he accepted criticisms with an open mind and would continue to address legitimate concerns and feedback.