KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 — Umno members have proved Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s caustic claim that they are “dumb” and getting “dumber” by allowing Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to return and lead them despite his many pending corruption cases, DAP lawmaker Lim Kit Siang said today.
The Iskandar Puteri MP said Zahid’s return shows that the party’s president is self-serving and would only allow those dumber than him to join the party, adding that it also shows the members' lack the ability to evaluate and choose wise leaders.
“Zahid is providing a living example of Umno leaders being ‘dumb and dumber’ and unable to be wise in evaluating, patient and loyal in the political struggle.
“Otherwise, how could the Umno leaders allow Zahid to return from garden leave to resume the mantle of Umno President, when he has made history in the Malaysian courthouse with a total of 87 criminal charges related to corruption?” he asked in a statement.
Lim noted that Zahid’s charges far outstrips those of the man he replaced — Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who faces 42 criminal charges, and the latter’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor who has 20 criminal charges under her belt.
He pointed out that Zahid’s peer with the second most number of charges is ex-Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman with 51 charges.
“The best evidence that Umno leaders are getting ‘dumb and dumber’ over the years is their continued silence — even now on the 1MDB scandal — when the whole world had been condemning Malaysia for becoming a global kleptocracy as a result of the 1MDB scandal!
“Would a leadership that is not becoming ‘dumb and dumber’ showed no sense of remorse or contrition for the global kleptocracy of the 1MDB scandal, especially after the United States Department of Justice had filed a 250-page large kleptocratic forfeiture litigation for US$1.7 billion of over US$4.5 billion of 1MDB-linked assets?” he said.
He also asked if Umno had already forgotten the circumstances of what made Zahid leave, where he suffered humiliation from rejection and insults, compounded by the exodus of roughly a third of its elected representatives and members.
“Were these Umno indignities and humiliations a vindication of what Mahathir said about Umno branch leaders become ‘dumb and dumber’ or was Zahid parroting what DAP was telling him — as if DAP is not only directing Mahathir but also directing Zahid as the grand puppet-master in Malaysia?
“In actual fact, whether Umno Branch chiefs are getting “dumb and dumber” is no business of DAP and not within my ken,” he said.
In light of this, Lim asked why Zahid was dragging DAP into his argument with Dr Mahathir, referring to Zahid’s refute that it was the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman that was being fooled by DAP.
“Was Zahid suggesting that Mahathir was obeying a DAP directive when addressing 1,215 delegates of Bersatu’s Extraordinary General Meeting on Saturday, when Mahathir advised Bersatu to avoid being caught in a cycle of self-serving leaders who will prevent others with more capability to rise and succeed them as happened to Umno?
“Was Zahid saying that Mahathir’s reason for Umno’s eventual downfall when the people moved to reject self-serving leaders was the invention and creation of DAP, and that Mahathir did not have the IQ to think and analyse things on his own?
“Was Zahid saying that Mahathir was only parroting what DAP had told him about Umno branches becoming ‘dumb and dumber’?” he asked.
Lim said that while he was not in a position to speak on Umno leaders' intelligence over the years, Dr Mahathir would have apt knowledge on the matter, having been the Umno president for 21 years.
Dr Mahathir was recently reported saying that Umno branch chiefs were not keen to allow others who are more capable to be members, in order to preserve their position, and this led to the party being led by people who will be progressively more stupid.