Dr M warns Najib of bleak future if he doesn’t change leadership approach

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(October 7): Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today warned Datuk Seri Najib Razak that the latter would face a bleak future if he continued to use the same approach in his leadership.

He said he was happy that the government had openly accepted his criticism, but this had not caused Najib to change his ways.

"Those who do not take heed from previous experiences and continue with the old approach will endure the same achievements or worse in the future," Dr Mahathir said in a blog posting today.

Using an illustration of the Malay sultans during British rule, Dr Mahathir said he was only critiquing and not ordering. He said he did not want to be like the British advisers who made an agreement with the Malay sultanate.

"In the agreement, the British would place one of their officers as an adviser to the state government.

"But in that agreement, it was also said that when these advisers offer their advice, the Sultan and the government must accept them. 'Accepting' the advice, according to the British understanding, meant that it would have to be followed and implemented," he wrote on chedet.cc.

When one was forced to accept and implement another's advice, it is no longer "advice" but had become an order, Malaysia's longest-serving prime minister said.

"My criticism is not advice. It is up to those criticised whether they want to accept it or not," he wrote, adding that the test of whether one's advice was correct was the general elections

"If the criticism is unfounded and the policies and approaches which have been criticised continue… then, of course, we can see a huge win.

"However, if their performance in the election becomes worse… then, most probably, the criticism had a basis."

Dr Mahathir noted that Barisan Nasional (BN) under his successor Tun Abdullah Badawi won big in the 2004 General Election, but lost five states and had a huge decline in the number of parliamentary seats won in the 2008 GE.

"By right, his successor should obtain a better result. But, no.

"The sixth prime minister (Najib) did worse in the 13th GE even after government money was given to millions of people, and the New Economic Policy was abandoned, helping those who did not appreciate it, increasing the government's debts, and listening to outside consultants among others."

Dr Mahathir was referring to the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) cash vouchers which Putrajaya hands out twice a year to the people.

"With this very bad performance, the policies and practices which are clearly not working should be reviewed. But, no. The same approach is continued. They accept the advice, but do not change anything."

In August, Dr Mahathir announced that he was withdrawing his support for Najib, saying that his criticisms had fallen on deaf ears.

“I have tried to give my views to him directly, which are also the views of many people who have met me," wrote Dr Mahathir.

"I have no choice but to withdraw my support. This has not been effective so I have to criticise."

He also said that he had hoped Najib learnt lessons from his poor performance in the last general election, but it appeared that he had not.

“Many policies, approaches and actions taken by the government under Najib have destroyed interracial ties, the economy and the country’s finances.”

Dr Mahathir had also expressed fear that BN would lose in the next general election if Najib continues as prime minister.