Amanah president Mohamad Sabu said today that Dr Mahathir Mohamad – who was accused of being a 'dictator' when serving as prime minister from 1981 to 2003 – is now too democratic on occasion.
"It is unfair for certain quarters to accuse Mahathir of making unilateral decisions.
"In certain situations, the prime minister is even too democratic, and will relent if members of the cabinet can make better arguments.
"The prime minister has not forced his opinions on the members of the cabinet," he said in a statement today.
Mohamad stressed that the cabinet is collectively responsible for all of Putrajaya's decisions.
"Every decision made by the Malaysian government is done collectively, involving the prime minister, deputy prime minister and cabinet ministers.
"Decisions are taken by the Malaysian government after discussions and considering the views of all quarters," he said, adding that it is unfair to lay blame solely on the prime minister.
During Mahathir's first tenure, Mohamad was detained under the now defunct Internal Security Act 1960 between 1984 and 1986, and again from 1987 to 1989.
He now serves as defence minister under Mahathir's cabinet after the latter led Pakatan Harapan to power in the last general election.