Malaysia’s Mahathir accuses PM Anwar of being a dictator after pro-Malay rally blocked

1 year ago 63

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s former premier Mahathir Mohamad on Sunday accused Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim of being a dictator after a pro-Malay gathering was blocked.

While Tun Dr Mahathir said he had no evidence that Datuk Seri Anwar was behind the sudden cancellation of the rally on Malay solidarity, he said the premier has been displaying increasing intolerance to free speech by attacking the opposition and his critics.

“From his speeches against me, I am sure that he is behind this ban in trying to shut the mouths of people who want to tell the truth,” Dr Mahathir told a news conference. 

“Only dictators don’t allow people to criticise the government.“

The Sekretariat Proklamasi Orang Melayu (Malay People’s Proclamation Secretariat) was reportedly forced to cancel the event planned for Sunday after several venues, including a hotel close to the Petronas Twin Towers, cancelled the bookings.

Dr Mahathir was scheduled to attend the gathering, which he said would have been attended by about 2,000 participants.

“I don’t understand why the government is so afraid of Malays that they won’t let us gather. We have tried four venues but to no avail. The gathering is apparently racist. Actually, when you block one race, you are the one who is racist. The government is the one that is racist,” he said.

Dr Mahathir said that during the Reformasi (Reform) movement pro-Anwar supporters had regularly held “rough” protests, but the event that was planned for Sunday was not meant to be such.

“The press is censored. Nothing bad about the government can be printed,” Dr Mahathir alleged.

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