KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad reportedly blamed the failure of achieving Vision 2020 goals on poor execution by his successors Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Dr Mahathir told Free Malaysia Today that the country was on track in achieving Vision 2020 goals he had set before stepping down as prime minister in 2003, but those who inherited his plans deviated from and derailed the mission.
“When we launched it in 1991, we were growing at a very high rate, and it seemed that the policies were good.
"I thought the policy would continue throughout the 30-year period to the year 2020.
“Unfortunately, when I stepped down, Abdullah and later Najib went in different directions," he was quoted saying.
Dr Mahathir claimed the two former prime ministers did not emphasise developing the country but instead focused on big projects so they could allegedly make money for themselves.
Abdullah, also known as Pak Lah, was Dr Mahathir’s immediate successor, and was followed by Najib, who took office as prime minister in 2009.
"Malaysia would have remained an 'Asian tiger' and not be in its present condition if those administrations had continued along the path he had laid out.
“We couldn’t achieve Vision 2020 because they took the wrong direction,” he said.
He added that leaders who led the country after him wanted to establish their own legacies.
"But as it turned out, they failed very badly.
"Their legacy now is a kleptocracy, a government of thieves, and that is not an achievement,” he said.
He claimed that if Pakatan Harapan had been given five to 10 years in power, it could have been able to elevate Malaysia to developed nation status and fulfill the aims laid out in 1991.