KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wanted the 1 Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) scrapped and the “Crooked Bridge” linking Johor to Singapore’s side of the Causeway to be revived, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
He said these two issues could have been part of the reason why the former PM has increased his criticism towards him.
“He (Dr Mahathir) had two things he wanted me to do. He wanted me to do away with BR1M and the Johor crooked bridge,” Najib said during a televised interview on TV3.
“I respect Tun, just like I respect all the people,” he added.
“I gave my views on these issues. I see it as discussions between two individuals... It is quite healthy to have a difference in opinion, but in the end, I still have to be accountable to the rakyat and the party.
“Most of these issues were brought to Cabinet and Cabinet will decide on it,” Najib added.
The so-called “Crooked Bridge” was Dr Mahathir’s idea to replace the Causeway, but was discontinued by his successor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and believed to be among reasons why the latter was hounded out of office by the man who put him there.
In recent remarks, Dr Mahathir said he could no longer remain silent and that the days for diplomacy have long passed, adding he will now push for Najib’s resignation openly.
He said the prime minister’s refusal to address allegations such as those surrounding 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and linking him to the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu put Barisan Nasional’s (BN) rule at risk.
Dr Mahathir has also criticised the Najib administration’s annual cash handout to low-income groups through BR1M.
His attacks prompted several BN leaders to criticise the former prime minister over his own time in power and come out in support of Najib.