Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim has urged supporters of Anwar Ibrahim and those in or aligned to the opposition to cease their attacks on Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
He suggested that the task of deriding the former premier be left to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s henchmen instead.
Zaid was responding to Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) leader Saari Sungib, who wanted Mahathir to make a public apology for his misdeeds during his 22-year tenure.
“Mahathir met Anwar. They shook hands in a cordial manner. They know what they are doing. What more does Saari want?
“Mahathir has mentioned several times there were mistakes during his tenure. He also apologised for the constitutional amendment that affected the powers of the rulers, so what more does Saari want?” he asked in a blog posting.
Zaid also questioned if it was not wrong for Najib to kiss Mahathir’s hand in the past, or for Anwar and Muhyiddin Yassin to be close to Mahathir and Najib prior to their dismissal.
“So how many leaders do we want to seek an apology from?” he added.
The former minister said leaders make mistakes when in power, so one must refrain from taking the stand that all the errors originated from Mahathir alone.
“What is important is that we realise there are two groups of leaders – one which ruled in a corrupt manner and abused their powers, but have repented and want to change. The other are those who continue to lie and mislead the people because they have not repented.
“Saari and his friends can choose which one they wish for (to be in power),” he added.
Citing himself as an example, Zaid said he did not hold a grudge against Mahathir and Muhyiddin for their harsh words when he contested the Hulu Selangor by-election.
“I still remember how the Umno campaign attacked my family and me. I remember what they said when as a minister, I made the goodwill ex-gratia payment for judges whose service was terminated in 1988.
“But when Mahathir invited me to work with him to help save Malaysia and his party, I took that as his way of apologising (for his past mistakes).
“There are many ways for one to apologise, forgetting the past is the best.
“I consider my acceptance into the Mahathir team as an honour from a leader who has contributed much to the nation despite his weaknesses and mistakes.
“I am proud of the 91-year-old former premier’s courage to want to set things straight. He loves this country, and this is a genuine sacrifice.
“He is not contented with a comfortable life, jet-setting and vacationing here and there. He is working hard to save Malaysia.
“I am proud of this attitude, and therefore will help him. What more do I need?” he added.