In first post-Raya attack against Anwar, Dr M urges Malaysians to 'vote the devil'

Harakahdaily, 23 August 2012

Aug 22: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in his first post-Hari Raya posting on his blog has launched a scathing attack on his arch enemy Anwar Ibrahim, and said that he had been "hoodwinked" by Anwar's "religious appearance".

PAST IMPERFECT ... Mahathir says he was hoodwinked by Anwar's appearance

"Malaysians must not allow themselves to be hoodwinked as I was hoodwinked by the appearance of religious piety in the past," said Mahathir, who upon becoming prime minister in 1981, recruited Anwar into UMNO. Anwar was then considered an influential Muslim leader and many believed that he was brought into government folds to give UMNO some Islamic credentials in the party's fight against PAS.

In an appeal to Malaysians to vote for Barisan Nasional at the coming general election, Mahathir warned them against giving the opposition Federal power.

"Five years to give a trial as Government is dangerous. Many things can be destroyed in five years," he said.

But he also revealed another reason why he thought Pakatan Rakyat should not win.

"Besides the Opposition as Government will ensure there will be no return for the BN. Officers in the Government will be used to 'gempar' (threaten) whoever tries to change Government," said Mahathir. He was apparently referring to the 1999 trial in which Anwar allegedly abused his powers as deputy prime minister by urging the police to take action against those behind a leaflet accusing him of sexual crimes.

"Better the devil you know than the angel you don’t," Mahathir added, and suggested that by resorting to defamation suits, Anwar was abusing his powers.

"Already we see this person who claims to fight for free speech suing and resorting to the courts to shut the mouth of his critics. Other powers of the Government will be similarly abused," he wrote.

According to Mahathir, the opposition in Malaysia was copying US president Barrack Obama's presidential campaign in 2008 with his promise of 'change', which had not been kept.

Many have however compared prime minister Najib Razak's election slogan "Janji Ditepati" (Promises Fulfilled) to the theme for Obama's 2012 re-election bid, "Promises Kept".

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