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Ignorant Harapan leaders are better than robbers, says PM

Pakatan Harapan leaders who are allegedly sabotaging the government due to ignorance, greed and lack of focus are better than those who steal from the government, said the Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Mahathir was responding to claims by the veteran journalist A Kadir Jasin in The Star that the danger of the Harapan government being sabotaged could not be denied.

"It's better than a government made up of robbers," the prime minister said when asked to comment on the allegation by host Johan Jaafar in a programme organised by Sinar Harian today. 

Mahathir also said the government is not being on the defensive when the opposition regularly criticises it via the social media, and suggested that insults by certain quarters ought to be ignored.

"We found that those who are against us incriminate themselves. Like those who said 'kepala bapa kau'. We don't have to respond to that (because) he actually incriminates himself," he said.

It is likely that Mahathir was referring to former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak who last year expressed anger over claims that the country had lost its sovereignty to China.

"They threatened to change everything. Supposedly we have sold our sovereignty. What sovereignty? Kepala bapa kau (literally: your father's head) - I'm sorry for using some coarse language because it's illogical.

"Where is the loss of sovereignty? Stupid. You think we are stupid? We are not stupid, you are stupid," he had said in his speech at the 64th MCA annual general assembly.

However, Mahathir said today that the government should also listen to the opinion of others and take heed of their advice.

"We must be tolerant. We must listen to others. When the opposition criticises, if we shut their mouth, that is useless. If there is no party to advise us, we would stray far from the path."