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KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — Two Malay rights groups today cautioned DAP’s Lim Kit Siang against using Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s current conflict with Umno for political capital.
Utusan Malaysia reported Jaringan Melayu Malaysia (JMM) president Azwanddin Hamzah as saying that the DAP veteran was acting like “batu api”, the Malay term for agent provocateur, in his last meeting with the former prime minister.
“What we saw was Kit Siang trying to use Dr Mahathir’s influence for his own political interest... we are (sic) informed that their meeting was based on Kit Siang’s old ties with the former prime minister when they fought each other politically, so we would like to remind him not to try and take advantage on Dr Mahathir,” Azwanddin told the local Malay daily.
Perkasa Youth chief Irwan Fahmi Ideris expressed similar sentiment and urged other politicians to give Dr Mahathir some space.
“He has just announced his decision to quit Umno. That is a personal decision and we have to respect it,” he was quoted in the Utusan Malaysia’s report.
“But politicians, especially the opposition, have to remember not to make an immediate decision, assessment and use Dr Mahathir’s name for their own interests.”
On Monday, Dr Mahathir announced his decision to leave Umno, claiming the party he once led now only functions to protect its president Najib.
He also alleged that Najib was responsible for the current climate of fear in the country.
Lim subsequently said he had met arch-rival Dr Mahathir for discussions.