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'Mahathir-opposition alliance just a face-saving exercise'
Published:  Mar 4, 2016 6:15 PM
Updated: 1:49 PM

The alliance between the opposition and former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad to remove Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is just a "face-saving" exercise.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak said this after Mahathir, his allies, and various opposition figures came together today to sign a declaration to work together against Najib and for thorough reforms within the country.

"They realise that their move to oust Najib has failed and this is just a face-saving exercise.

"It is a side-show to give an impression that the effort has not ended when in fact, it ended months ago," Salleh said in a blog post today.

Besides, he said, the different ideas of reform between the opposition and Mahathir will doom their newly-formed alliance.

"The opposition's idea of reforms differ greatly from that of Mahathir's. They are not united on the details.

"That alone ensures that this alliance is doomed from the start, just like Pakatan Rakyat was," Salleh said.

He also pointed out that while Mahathir was very vocal about removing Najib from power, he was very careful about remaining vague on the reforms he is talking about.

As such, he called for this alliance to detail out the full agenda of the reforms they are seeking before they ask the rakyat for support.

"As it stands, now their one and only agenda is to oust Najib. And after that, what?" he questioned.

'Collection of misfits'

Salleh also dismissed the people who attended the press conference, describing them as "a collection of misfits and a motley crew" who are only united by their hatred for Najib.

Mahathir had said that the alliance is to oust Najib so that Malaysia can be saved, but Salleh questioned what exactly it is that Malaysia needs to be saved from.

It is the 1MDB issue that Mahathir is talking about but the longest-serving prime minister does not want to mention it, Salleh said, because "the matter has already been resolved and is no longer an issue".

Even the matter of the RM2.6 billion found in Najib's personal bank accounts has been resolved, he added.

Attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali's office has declined to prosecute Najib based on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigations into the RM2.6 billion deposited into the prime ministers personal bank accounts by a Saudi Arabian donor.

The donation, linked to the 1MDB scandal, was subjected to investigation conducted by the MACC, the police, the Public Accounts Committee, Bank Negara and the auditor-general.

'Take on Najib next GE'

Meanwhile, MIC central working committee member S Vell Paari also expressed his disappointment in the action taken by Mahathir, calling it "irresponsible".

"Let us not forget that Mahathir, during his tenure as prime minister, also faced such calls for his resignation.

"But he chose to step down when he was ready to do so. Not a minute earlier," Vell Paari said in a statement today.

The allegations that Mahathir is using against Najib are "recycled allegations" that have been played up without any proof, he pointed out, calling it a "criminal conspiracy" to topple the prime minister and his administration, with both local and foreign elements.

Mahathir having to work with the opposition also shows that he has lost support within Umno and BN, Vell Paari said.

As Mahathir seems to think Najib is not a good Umno president, Vell Paari said the former premier should have taken on Najib in the party polls or use proper party channels to champion his cause.

"However, since you are no longer an Umno member and have joined your newly found friends in the opposition, you can take on Najib and BN in the next general elections.

"Let Malaysians decide if they want a BN led by Najib or Mahathir," he said.

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