Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has fired back at Umno vice presidents Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Hishammuddin Hussein for criticising his presence at the Bersih 4 protest last night.
In his second visit to the protest this afternoon, Mahathir slammed Ahmad Zahid, who is also deputy prime minister, and Hishammuddin, who is also defence minister, as having grown "comfortable" with their positions.
"It is their right for them to slam me, they are comfortable now," he told a press conference in a restaurant in Pasar Seni.
Earlier today, both Ahmad Zahid and Hishammuddin had expressed disappointment against Mahathir.
Ahmad Zahid ( photo ) had also played down the significance of Mahathir's visit last night, claiming that it was only "six minutes" and therefore did not mean support for Bersih 4.
However, Mahathir's second visit today, together with his wife Siti Hasmah, lasted for almost an hour.
Prior to the visit, Hishammuddin had also criticised Mahathir's presence at Bersih 4 last night, warning the elder statesman he was encouraging something that was dangerous.
"He should be aware the security repercussions and danger if street demonstrations are allowed to fester.
"Many countries around the world have fallen apart when their leaders were toppled through street demonstrations.
"In the end, innocent rakyat become the victims. Is this the objective a statesman should achieve?" he said.
During the Reformasi era, Hishammuddin ( photo ) noted how Mahathir had said that street protests were not the proper channels to vent frustrations, what more to topple the government.
“To me, he has violated the principles of his struggle which he held to all this while. His action is clearly in contradiction with the values he instilled in Umno and the people when he was prime minister,” he had said.