KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 9 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad cleared today his long-time political foe Lim Kit Siang of the “communist” label attached to the DAP parliamentary leader and his party by pro-Umno blogger.
While the former prime minister continued to chide the veteran opposition lawmaker for his poor national policies, Dr Mahathir was convinced Lim and the DAP were not with the Reds.
“I don’t see DAP as communists. Just that their idea on how to administer the country is not good for the nation,” the former Umno president was quoted as saying by news portal Malaysiakini at a function in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.
“I also don't see Lim as a communist, he is more inclined to be an authoritarian and appears to want his son to replace him,” he added, the last a reference to DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng who is also Penang chief minister.
The 89-year-old, who frequently butted heads with the senior Lim over the course of 22 years while helming the Barisan Nasional (BN) federal government, accused the DAP of propagating nepotism.
“I don't believe in this system where family is more (important) than the country,” Dr Mahathir reportedly said.
Last week, an Umno blogger posted an infographics that depicted the DAP veteran in the garb favoured by the late China leader Mao Tse Tung and branded Lim “Bapa Mei 13”, or “Father of May 13”, referencing the fatal race riots of 1969.
The blogger further alleged Lim to have made anti-Malay statements during that turbulent period between May 12 and 13, 1969 in areas within Kuala Lumpur, which Lim has vehemently denied.
Former Malacca senator Datuk Akbar Ali has stepped forward and named himself the blogger responsible for the allegations, after Lim threatened to sue a similarly named blogger.
The former director-general of the Statistics Department took to Twitter February 4 to inform the Gelang Patah MP that the latter had mistakenly identified blogger Syed Akbar Ali as the poster of the image.
“@limkitsiang wu an..may I explain. The tweet YB referred to was fr me..sincerely forwarded fyi & have the right to explain/defend. Tqvm, YB,” he tweeted.
Syed Akbar, who blogs under the name OutSyed The Box, said yesterday that he has never used Twitter though he set up an account on the social networking site “some time ago”.
Malaysia was locked in a decades-long battle with communist insurgents for years after independence in 1957.
The fight with the communists officially ended in 1989 with the signing of the Hatyai Peace Accord, but the DAP has been repeatedly linked to the now-defunct Malayan Communist Party and its former secretary-general Chin Peng.