As posted by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad at Che Det on August 18, 2016
1. Musa’s book “Frankly Speaking” makes interesting reading. Speaking frankly does not mean speaking truthfully. And when talking of things which happened 30-40 years ago, the accuracy of incidents and conversations are affected by current situations.
2. Frankly Speaking seeks to blame me for everything that happened in UMNO and the Government over all these years. Musa naturally does not blame himself for anything. He is as innocent as a newborn child. Which explains why he is so popular.
3. On loyalty. He said I demanded absolute loyalty. On that basis many including Musa, would have felt the full weight of my displeasure.
4. Musa contested for Deputy President against Tengku Razaleigh.
5. Musa came to see me to seek my support for his bid. I am prepared to swear on the Quran that he did this.
6. I was not willing to support him openly because I did not like the idea that I might have to work with Tengku Razaleigh if the latter became Deputy President and Deputy Prime Minister should Musa lose.
7. Now Sanusi says I asked him to campaign for Musa against Tengku Razaleigh. I may have but I cannot remember AIDS (Anwar Ibrahim, Daim, Sanusi) trying to bring down Musa when he was the heir apparent. Zam or Zainudin Maidin, editor of Utusan may remember. But I wonder if Utusan carried out an investigation. It often reports hearsay.
8. In the event Musa won and was appointed Deputy Prime Minister by me. But he was unhappy I retained Tengku Razaleigh as Minister of Finance in my Cabinet. He indicated that I should drop him (Tengku Razaleigh) altogether. I could not as I would lose Tengku Razaleigh’s supporters.
9. After Tengku Razaleigh again lost to Musa in the 1984 party elections, I moved Tengku Razaleigh to the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. I still did not drop him and I don’t think Musa was pleased.
10. Musa’s supporters named the Government as the 2M Government. I did not object even though it was unusual. His supporters also felt that I should stay as Prime Minister about as long as Tun Razak and Tun Hussein. But I showed no sign of wanting to step down.
11. Then Musa resigned as Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy President. I was annoyed as I thought he was the right person to succeed me eventually as PM. I did not expect to be Prime Minister for 22 years at that time. No one did. Certainly not Musa.
12. A meeting of the Supreme Council was held to discuss Musa’s resignation. If I wanted absolute loyalty I should have expelled him as Najib did for those he thought were not loyal enough to him.
13. Zam saw me prior to the Supreme Council meeting. He indicated that I was in for a surprise that night. He seemed to think that the Supreme Council would reinstate Musa even if I was opposed to it.
14. The Supreme Council did decided to persuade him to withdraw his resignations. I did not oppose the decision.
15. A delegation headed by Wan Mokhtar, Menteri Besar of Terengganu, flew to the UK to personally appeal to him.
16. He agreed to return only as Deputy President. I had no choice but to appoint Che Ghafar (Baba) as Deputy Prime Minister.
17. Musa was obviously not loyal to me at all. But I accepted his decision to return as deputy president of the party only. Later he was to show even greater disloyalty.
18. He went to Davos in Switzerland to see Tengku Razaleigh, his arch rival. Tengku Razaleigh was persuaded by him to contest for Presidency of the party at the next party election.
19. Surprisingly Musa himself indicated that he would contest for Deputy Presidency. In other words if they won he would be Deputy Prime Minister to Tengku Razaleigh as Prime Minister. His assertion now that he would not be in Tengku Razaleigh’s Cabinet is something new. It is absurd. Why contest for Deputy President, who traditionally becomes Deputy Prime Minister, if he had no intention to be a part of the Government as Deputy Prime Minister. If Ghafar had lost against Musa, I would have to appoint him again as my deputy. But will he accept?
20. Despite all these I did not take any action against him. When he did not join Tengku Razaleigh’s Semangat 46, I appointed him as special envoy to the United Nations with ministerial rank. Does this make me sound like a man who cannot and could not tolerate anything but absolute personal loyalty as alleged by Musa.
21. During the campaign for President and Deputy President, many of my Ministers and Deputy Ministers were against me. They included Abdullah Badawi, Rais Yatim, Syed Hamid and Kadir Sheikh Fadzir.
22. The record will show that I reappointed Syed Hamid and Kadir as Ministers in my Cabinet. Later I appointed Abdullah and Rais Yatim to the Cabinet. I even chose Abdullah Badawi as Deputy Prime Minister when Anwar left the party. And eventually Abdullah Badawi became Prime Minister upon my resigning. Is this how a man who cannot tolerate disloyalty treat people who were obviously disloyal to him?
23. I never behaved like Najib who demoted, removed and expelled leaders for even mildly questioning him about the 1MDB. He did not even allow UMNO delegates to talk about 1MDB and 2.6billion Ringgit in his private account. Those who did were considered as disloyal and have all been expelled.
24. Najib now talks about loyalty to the institution of President of UMNO. He does not allow contests for President as I did when Musa and Tengku Razaleigh challenged Ghafar and me. Anyone not fully supporting him, be they Ministers or civil servants were removed or transferred or medically retired. He is not tolerant as I was. I reserve a right to criticise his intolerance of opposition.
25. Loyalty to a leader is essential if an organisation is to function. But when a leader deviates or commits a crime, continuing to be loyal to him is wrong. In fact it is the duty of loyal followers to advise and even criticise their leader. And if the leader fails to heed the advise, they should stop being loyal to him.
26. I led the country for 22 years. The party and the electorate could overthrow me any time. Elections to the (party) Supreme Council were held regularly. But for five General Elections I led the party to victory with 2/3rd majority. I did not use money. No BR1M even. But the voters decided based on their perception of things, not because of absolute loyalty.
27. If Musa wants to speak frankly, then cite known events or refer to documents, including to news reports at the time. Yes, I did call Mohamed Rahmat “Mat Bulat” because he was stout. I did not mind people calling me “bomoh”. I thought it was a friendly reference to my profession.