Malaysiakini NEWS

‘Only 1,200 detained’: Mahathir defends ISA record

Alyaa Azhar  |  Published:  |  Modified:

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad finds it hard to understand why he continues to be blamed for the arrest of scores of people under the Internal Security Act 1960 during his time as prime minister.

At a town hall session with youths in Petaling Jaya tonight, Mahathir pointed out how at least 2,000 people were detained during the 13-year tenure of the country's first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman.

He added that the same occurred when Abdul Razak Hussein and Hussein Onn served as prime ministers for six and five years respectively, with over 2,000 detained by each premier.

"I (led the country for) 22 years but only 1,200 people were detained.

"The strange thing is, no one is angry at them, but I am the one targeted despite fewer being arrested.

"I don't really understand this, because I did what they did, but why were they not targeted even though they were more bengis (ruthless) than I was?" Mahathir asked...

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