KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the decision to reject the registration of his new party, Party Pejuang Tanah Air, suggests that the country is ruled by a dictator.
Dr Mahathir, who was once labelled a dictator himself during his first tenure as premier, also criticised the recent move by his successor, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in declaring a State of Emergency for Malaysia.
During an interview with the BFM radio station this morning, Dr Mahathir said by declaring an emergency, Muhyiddin has bolstered his power.
“Whether it (the decision) is right or wrong, we wouldn’t know, as we are no longer democratic. We are sacrificing democracy in order to give him (Muhyiddin) full power to do what he likes (during the period of the State of Emergency).
“It is a kind of dictatorship, where people cannot protest or question (a decision).
“So (it seems like) we are doing away with democracy completely, by using the emergency in order to give Muhyiddin full power without (allowing) anyone to say anything (against it).”
He also dismissed the “dictator” label that was once given to him for many years, saying: “A dictator rules by decree”.
“For example, my party (Pejuang) will not be registered, and you cannot question it because there is no way we can appeal. So in that sense, he (Muhyiddin) is a dictator,” Dr Mahathir added.
The Langkawi Member of Parliament also pointed out that the State of Emergency is unnecessary for a country like Malaysia, where the people are obedient to government’s instructions.
“Actually, the government has enough power to deal with the Covid-19. It’s not like other countries where people are protesting against the government’s instructions and all that.
“In Malaysia no, anything that the government says, we do. We don’t protest, we don’t take it to the streets. In (the United States of) America and Germany, people take to the streets, and so they (the governments) require additional power to enforce laws.
“But in Malaysia, there is no need for that, if we tell the people to do anything, they will do it,” he added.
On Tuesday, the Yang di -Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al- Mustafa Billah Shah declared that the country would be placed under a state of health emergency to curb the spread of Covid-19.
In a special address later, Muhyiddin explained that Parliament would be suspended and a general election would not be held; while judiciary bodies, civil government and economic activities would operate as usual.- NST