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Mahathir fires yet another potshot.

Malaysiakini report:

It appears that Dr Mahathir Mohamad will not rest until his successor vacates the administrative capital as soon as possible.

Since ties between the duo soured shortly after Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over the reins in 2003, Mahathir has launched a series of attacks against the prime minister.

After complaining of being sidelined by the Abdullah-aligned mainstream media, the 82-year-old statesman ventured into cyberspace and has been firing his salvos from there.

The former premier's latest blog postings - loaded with his trademark sarcasm - were no different.

Is this corruption?

This time around, Mahathir wondered aloud if Abdullah was appointing certain individuals to positions of power in order to secure support for himself.

He expressed delight that his friend, former Perlis menteri besar Shahidan Kassim, was picked by the prime minister to be an adviser for the Northern Economic Corridor Region (NCER).

"Ill-hearted people might think that this appointment is a way for Abdullah to garner the support of this (Umno) supreme council member so that he (Shahidan) does not support the call by other members for Abdullah to step down before the (Umno) division meetings (in October)."

"If I am not mistaken, whenever there is an Umno leader who looks like he is going to cause trouble for Abdullah, the leader will be appointed to a particular position or be made an adviser to the prime minister. The lucky ones will be given minister status. After that, silence."

"Is this a form of corruption? Wallahua'lam (only god knows)."

Mahathir, who relinquished the premiership after 22 years in power, was also puzzled why Abdullah made 'unwise' moves when having so many advisers at his disposal.

"Is it because even advisers with the status of minister have no voice. May be family ties between the adviser and the person being advised is more important than those who do not have family ties (with Abdullah)?"

On the same note, Mahathir also congratulated Pasir Salak parliamentarian Tajuddin Abdul Rahman for being appointed as the chairperson of land development authority, Felcra.

"It is expected that more will be appointed to specific positions or positions will be created specifically (for them). Those who have yet to support (Abdullah), please hasten your support. There are still many positions vacant or to be created specifically."

Supreme council meeting

Meanwhile, Mahathir also commented on last Thursday's Umno supreme council meeting where Abdullah reportedly came under intense fire from several leaders.

"The goings on in the supreme council are supposed to be secret. So it was quite a surprise when the press reported some important details regarding the meeting."

"What is even more surprising is that the reports exposed the attacks against Abdullah by several members of the council and their demand that the transfer of power should take place before the divisional meetings which would nominate the candidates for president."

Mahathir said it appears that strong words were used by some of the members while Wanita Umno chief Rafidah Aziz had even attacked the roles played by Abdullah's son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin and the PM's son, Kamaluddin.

"So harsh were the words used that Abdullah's face changed and he was reeling from the onslaught when (deputy premier) Najib Abdul Razak, ever the protector of Abdullah, stopped the proceedings. Najib promised he would speak on the matter with Abdullah."

Mahathir pointed out that other supreme council members were unhappy because once again controversial council matters were made into private deals between the premier and his deputy.

"It is the kind of negation of council rights that both Abdullah and Najib had frequently resorted to. The two would later come out with decisions which were unsatisfactory to the council members. Najib would then stress on the need to be united and loyal to the president."

"This time around it is not going to be any different. When faced with a tricky problem Abdullah would consult his family members, usually his son and son-in-law but now also his wife."

"It is well known that the family is enjoying the power and freedom to shape Abdullah's decisions based on their own personal interest i.e. to accumulate as much wealth as possible and to ensure Khairy's political ambitions, including to become the country's youngest prime minister."

'Najib being Najib'

According to Mahathir, by the time Abdullah meets his deputy, the prime minister would have been briefed by his family on what to say and "Najib being Najib would accept Abdullah's solution to the problem."

"In this case he (Abdullah) would want to insist on staying until June 2010 or maybe a short while before. Najib would then have the task of selling this solution to the supreme council."

"By doing so Najib would go down further in the estimation of the members and of the public when Najib's behaviour is leaked to the public."

Retracing history, Mahathir said the founders of Umno wanted to ensure that no decisions which seem to contradict the basis of the party's struggle would get through without the supreme council approving them.

"What happened to Onn Jaafar, the first president of Umno is an excellent example. The president was not obeyed blindly. Instead because he proposed something contrary to the basis of the party's struggle, it was rejected and as a man of honour he resigned."

"For almost 50 years the supreme council played this role. Thus when Musa Hitam resigned as deputy president of the party, the supreme council did not just agree with the president but sat until the early hours of the morning and then decided, the president's views notwithstanding, to send a delegation of senior members to London to persuade Musa to reassume his post of deputy president of the party and deputy prime minister."

"Musa agreed to return as deputy president, though not as deputy prime minister. And so he was well positioned to bring me down by persuading Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to contest for president against me. Incidentally during his campaign to become Umno deputy president he claimed that I backed him."

No longer supreme

However, Mahathir lamented that the character of the supreme council changed completely when Abdullah became the president of Umno. "It became the personal instrument of Abdullah for approving and legitimising all and everything he did."

"I believe on Thursday the worm turned partially. A few members found courage to demand the early resignation of Abdullah. Of course the 'yes-men' did not turn. The worm became so twisted that there is real danger it would break into two."

Mahathir said the latest development would cause concern to Najib, who wanted a peaceful transfer of power in order to keep the party intact.

"So he is likely to accept any scheme which would allow Abdullah to relinquish his post in a blaze of glory. Unfortunately Najib will not get his wish."

"There has never been a president of Umno who is as much disliked and even hated by the people as Abdullah. Malays, Chinese and Indians, whether members of the government component parties or mere supporters or ordinary people all want Abdullah to go, the sooner the better."

"The only people who want him to stay are those who owe their positions to him, or who benefitted from contracts and other largesse distributed by him. For some, including civil servants there is just fear of him which keeps them silent but sullen."

Strangely, Mahathir said, the true supporters of Abdullah as prime minister and Umno president are members of the opposition.

"(DAP national chairperson) Karpal Singh, (Opposition Leader) Anwar Ibrahim and (PAS spiritual leader) Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat want him to stay, at least till the next election."

"However it is not out of love for him but because they believe that with him leading BN, the opposition stands a better chance of winning the 13th general election and forming government."

"So much for the supreme council which is no longer supreme."

A typical cynical sarcastic remark from Mahathir.