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PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad should take on his arch nemesis Anwar Ibrahim in the coming general election, said former West Malaysia Malay Teachers Union president Nordin Mahmood.
And Nordin wanted the duo to do battle in Anwar’s traditional stronghold of Permatang Pauh in Penang.
“As he [Mahathir] is adamant that he has contributed greatly to the country and that he still has the support of the rakyat, to prove this, he should contest against Anwar.
“Even if he loses, it would not be a great embarrassment as the seat is the stronghold of Anwar. But if he contests in Kubang Pasu [Mahathir's former parliamentary seat in Kedah] and ends up losing, his leadership status would suffer severely,” he added.
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Nordin said if Mahathir wins, then Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should quit and allow the former to assume the post once again.
Furthermore, he said Najib looked “very tired”.
As for Anwar, he said that a victory against Mahathir would prove his strength and popularity with regard to becoming prime minister if Pakatan Rakyat wins in the general election.
Nordin said that of late, Mahathir’s attacks against Anwar have increased because he is wary that the latter would become the prime minister if Pakatan Rakyat were to win in GE13.
“Mahathir’s attacks have been personal in nature. He should be criticising Pakatan’s policies instead of attacking Anwar on a personal level.
“This is evident in how he incited PAS to not suggest Anwar as the prime minister and ‘predicting’ that Anwar would resort to violence a la the Arab Spring if he were to lose in the GE13,” he said.
Nordin added that it is quite peculiar for Mahathir to continue to be active as though he is still the prime minister.
“In other countries, leaders who have stepped down retire wholly and become respected statesmen. Unfortunately for Mahathir, some of the rakyat no longer respect him due to his political one-sided support for BN,” said Nordin.
He admitted that in Mahathir’s 22-year tenure as prime minister, he has no doubt contributed to the country.
“However, his socio-economic policy was not friendly to people in the lower income bracket, favoured the elites, created cronyism and corruption was rampant,” Nordin said.
He added that Mahathir is the reason for the collapse in the Malay language due to the implementation of the teaching and learning of science and mathematics in English (PPSMI) during his administration.
“PPSMI was implemented without the consultation of education and Malay language experts and the teachers’ union.
“His policy has led to the decline of the Malay language and the national education policy,” said Nordin.