You cannot just get rid of the govt and substitute it, says PM
by SHAHEERA AZNAM SHAH / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
ANY attempt to pit the government against the Malaysian rulers will fail as the country adheres to and implements democratic practices, Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
He added that there have been attempts to undermine the administration’s governing abilities by pegging sensitive issues to the country’s monarchies.
“There have been a lot of attempts lately to make the Rulers unhappy with the government. For example, they singled out the Rome Statute, but it is not going to succeed. It will fail. They can try if they like, but it will fail because this government was elected by the people…this is democracy.
“You cannot just get rid of the government and substitute it…unless of course you drop the democracy and become a kleptocracy. Or you could become an autocracy,” he said at the Malaysia Autoshow 2019 in Serdang yesterday.
Dr Mahathir was commenting on concerns surrounding a certain “coup d’etat” and the growing tensions between the government and the Johor royal family.
Recently, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said the government’s decision to reverse the ratification of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court was done out of fear for the coup d’etat attempt, which could be spurred by the clandestine power of the “deep state”.
Saifuddin referred the “deep state” to the secret government or network formed that operates independently to uphold its own personal agenda.
In a Facebook posting on Wednesday, Johor Ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar warned “certain parties” to not interfere in the administration of the Johor state.
“In regards to Johor, do not try to interfere with the administration of this sovereign state which still has a Sultan,” the Ruler said.
Dr Mahathir said Johor is part of the country even certain quarters want to believe otherwise.
“I feel and believe that Johor is part of this country…unless of course if it is a foreign country…I don’t interfere the internal affairs of a foreign country,” he said.
Dr Mahathir added that the government will remain with the decision to name the candidates for the Johor mentri besar (MB) following suggestions by the Opposition that Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin could fit the position.
“It is the winning party which will name the MB, not the loser. The losers keep quiet. Muhyiddin has other jobs to do, we will put up the candidate,” he said. Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir reiterated that the establishment of Malaysia’s new national car will boost the development of the local automotive industry.
“The country’s aim to develop a new brand of national car is crucial in boosting the growth of the automotive in the country.
“This project will develop clusters of new technologies as well as a new set of professional workforce, especially in the area of new engineering and technologies,” he said in his speech.