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Dr Mahathir Labels Anwar Dictator, Social Media Goes Wild

Dr Mahathir Labels Anwar Dictator, Social Media Goes Wild

Jailed former PM Najib Razak calls Dr Mahathir “Mr ISA” in reacting to the latter labelling PMX a dictator.

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It’s beginning to look like the battle of ex-Prime Ministers.

Wasting no time, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak hit back at Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad over the latter’s comments against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (PMX).

In a posting on his Facebook page, Najib called it ironic that a dictator (a nickname many have given Dr Mahathir) was calling someone else that label.

Taking a swipe at the Internal Security Act (ISA) Najib wrote:

A dictator calls someone else a dictator, Mr ISA (Internal Security Act ) calls someone else a dictator.

Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak via Facebook

The ISA is a now abolished act to arrest and lock up those deemed as a security threat for their outspokenness, without trial.

Many recalled Dr Mahathir’s infamous “Operasi Lalang” or Ops Lalang which was a major crackdown under his admimistration, undertaken by the Police, to prevent race riots.

The operation saw the arrests of at least 106 individuals – from political activists, opposition politicians, intellectuals, students, artists to scientist – who were detained without trial under the ISA.

Some of the famous faces who were detained under this law were veteran politician Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng as well as Anwar.

It was the second largest swoop in Malaysian history involving the ISA since the 13 May riots 18 years earlier.

It also involved the revoking of the publishing licences of two dailies, The Star and the Sin Chew Jit Poh and two weeklies, The Sunday Star and Watan.

The jailed former Prime Minister also listed how the Attorney General, Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) chief, Chief Judge, Bank Negara governor and Inspector General of Police had been replaced by Dr Mahathir.

Additionally, Najib said:

Do as Dr Mahathir did to Najib and his family. Only then can you be worthy of being called a dictator.

Former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak

On Sunday, Dr Mahathir had accused Anwar of being a dictator after a pro-Malay gathering was called off.

According to The Malaysian Insight, while Dr Mahathir said he had no evidence that Anwar was behind the sudden cancellation of the rally on Malay solidarity, he claimed the prime minister has been displaying increasing intolerance of free speech by attacking the opposition and his critics.

From his speeches against me, I am sure that he is behind this ban to try to shut the mouths of people who want to tell the truth. Only dictators don’t allow people to criticise the government.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

Just as Najib had taken to social media to bite back at Dr Mahathir’s comments, netizens had done the same.

While many joked about whether Dr Mahathir should take a look in the mirror, others called this act an act of the pot calling the kettle black.

Twitter user @ruffleseed shared a cut out of a 1987 front page of The Star which shared the headline in all caps “DETAINED” along with the faces of those detained under the ISA.

Another Twitter user @IjamKloppo said:

If Anwar was a dictator, you would be the first person to be jailed since last November Tun M.

@IjamKloppo via Twitter

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