While Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had rebuked his opponents of trying to oust his democratically-elected government, his archnemesis Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it was Najib who is against democracy.
“Najib claims his government is democratic and any attempts to remove it is against democracy. This is a baseless claim and laughable.
“A practice accepted in democracy is the removal of leaders who have failed, unsatisfactory or done wrong against the country,” said Mahathir in a blog posting yesterday.
The former prime minister said this is seen in Australia, United States, Britain and Brazil where their leaders quit or were removed before their term was up.
“What has happened now is Najib has rejected democracy. The evidence is overwhelming,” said Mahathir.
He said among the example was the absence of the separation of powers as Najib now controlled the legislative, executive and judiciary, while MPs are forced to comply with the prime minister’s will.
This resulted in the inability to bring a no-confidence vote against Najib in Parliament.
He added that civil servants, police, the military, businesspersons as well as the media were also being made to submit to Najib or face retribution.
Mahathir also noted that the newly introduced National Security Act 2016 disallows an inquest in the event a citizen or a member of the security forces is killed.
“All this is clear evidence that Najib has destroyed democracy in this country.
“The one who should be arrested and charged in court is Najib for sabotaging democracy in Malaysia.
“As long as Najib is the prime minister, Malaysia will not be democratic. Far from it, Malaysia will have an iron fist government that does not adhere to the rule of law,” he said.
Najib had accused Mahathir and his allies of trying to oust his government to make way for his son, Mukhriz, to be prime minister.
However, Mahathir claimed he is out to remove Najib over wrongdoings in the 1MDB scandal, where billions of ringgit have allegedly gone missing.
Najib had repeatedly denied taking public funds for personal gain.