Tun Mahathir claims role in Anwar's political rise in KS podcast [Updated]
KUALA LUMPUR: Former two-time prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today claimed that he paved the way for prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to soar as a politician by capitalising on the latter's religious credentials.
Dr Mahathir said Anwar's characteristic at the time was seen as something that could strengthen Umno from within, thus, prompting him to give the 'opportunity' for Anwar to become one of Umno's influential figures.
"When I brought him (Anwar) into Umno at the time, he was seen as someone who strongly held on to religion.
"(Because of this) we hoped that he could inject his knowledge into Umno so the party could also be seen as strongly holding on to religion.
"However, when he entered the field and became the prime minister, he went against his promise and things that we hoped he would fix were not addressed," he said during the Keluar Sekejap podcast led by former Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and former Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan.
Dr Mahathir, who is also a former Langkawi member of parliament, claimed that Anwar did not live up to his expectations and turned worse ever since the once-opposition leader became the prime minister as he was not consistent in his stance.
"Anwar's position (stance) was different when he was not the prime minister. He wanted to revise and reform certain things.
"However, he became worse than those people (leaders) he wanted to reform when he became the prime minister
"If someone opposes him now, he will also issue warnings and take action if someone accuses him of having any involvement with Israel."
At the same time, he also mentioned that Anwar could be held accountable as the discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) granted to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on 47 corruption cases that took place under Anwar's administration.
"Whether it is a court's decision or not, the fact was that it happened during Anwar's time and I am sure it did not happen in other times (of any previous prime minister's administration).
"So, this happened during Anwar's time. Previously, someone could just blame me for whatever happened in the country during my time as the prime minister.
"(And) we can now blame Anwar for what happened when he was the prime minister because he spoke differently, then and now (on corruption)."