Monday, June 14, 2010

Mahathir: Only cowards sue critics

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad has taken a swipe at politicians who file legal suits against critics, calling them cowards. He could also be taking a swipe at Singapore's leaders who are making it a ritual to sue anyone who dares comment about them.

In his latest blog posting, he says he will not sue author Barry Wain, who in his book 'Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times' writes that he misappropriated public funds when he was prime minister.

“I am leery of politicians who sue their critics,” he said.

“I suspect that what they want is to make the issue sub judice so as to prevent the critics from attacking them on the issue. This is a cowardly move and in fact proves that the criticisms are fully justified.”

He urges the public to be cautious of such politicians, saying they are prone to abusing their power.

He said a politician should be able to fend of criticisms without going to court if he is innocent.

Mahathir probably is suffering from amnesia, as he has conveniently forgotten what he did during his years in as PM, during whose years in power a number of publications had their licences suspended or cancelled. Politicians who use the legal process to muzzle criticism are no better than a government that shuts down publications which are critical of it like that of Mahathir's.

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