It will be the fault of former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad if Umno/BN were to perform badly in the next general election, says Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak.
It will be a repeat of what happened in the 12th general election, Salleh said, when Mahathir told the people, during his roadshow, to vote for the opposition to "teach BN and Umno a lesson".
Due to Mahathir's actions, he added, BN suffered in the general election of 2008 and lost five states, the first time such a thing happened.
"The same thing is happening now and if Umno and BN do suffer in the next general election, it will be because of what Mahathir is currently doing.
"So how can Mahathir talk about his loyalty to the party and to the coalition when his actions actually hurt the party and coalition," Salleh ( photo ) said in his blog posting uploaded last night.
Even though Mahathir said it is not wrong to criticise, Salleh said, Mahathir when he was prime minister did not tolerate criticism from former deputy prime minister Musa Hitam and Anwar Ibrahim or from then Umno Youth chief Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
"He (Mahathir) said that there should be a proper platform for this and it should be an internal matter and not an act of washing dirty linen in public.
"When Mahathir was the prime minister, he did not allow what he is now saying should be allowed," Salleh said.
Mahathir is also now accusing Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak of restructuring the party voting system so that only divisional votes count, he lamented.
Actually, it is Mahathir who introduced the bonus vote system and the "no challenge for number one and two" rule to prevent anyone from challenging him, he said.
Salleh also refuted Mahathir's claims that the nonagenarian's loyalty to the party has never wavered.
Mahathir did resign from Umno during his quarrel with former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, he pointed out.
"Because of his personal differences with the Umno leader, Mahathir left the party. So there was a time when his loyalty to the party did waver," he said.
Mahathir has been a vocal critic of Najib for the past year, especially on issues of 1MDB, which is Najib's brainchild.