Citing GE14, Dr M says overthrowing corrupt leaders a Muslim’s duty

Radzi Razak
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks during a forum on Islamophobia in Kuala Lumpur November 11, 2019. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 11 — Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad asserted today that overthrowing corrupt leaders is part of the duties of the Muslim community, giving the example of the public voting Barisan Nasional (BN) out of Putrajaya last year.

He also accused political leaders in the previous administration of deviating from Islamic teachings by accepting corruption, and were therefore “punished” by voters in the 14th general election (GE14).

“The duty of the ‘ummah’ is to reject such [corrupt] Muslim leaders and indeed that was what they did in GE14,” he said in a question-and-answer session at the “Demystifying Islamophobia” Colloquium here.

“Before that we had to tolerate Muslim leaders who are not very Muslim simply because they will be punished by many means.  But when the opportunity come to overthrow these leaders, they did that, quite brave, did that and replace with another set of leaders,” he added.

Dr Mahathir had led the Pakatan Harapan coalition to end six decades of power under BN.

Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his deputy Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi have since been charged with numerous accounts of corruption, criminal breach of trust and money laundering.

However it has not been a smooth sailing for PH as voters have become increasingly vocal in their criticism against the pact, especially on social media.

Acknowledging this, Dr Mahathir insisted that the current administration has inherited a broken system enabled by those alleged corrupt leaders.

However he also reminded the audience that Malaysia has managed to keep the stability during the power transfer, something that is lacking in other Muslim-majority countries following revolutions.

“In the process the country has become very weak and now in big trouble with regards to finance, because of money stolen,” he said, referring to Malaysia.

“But we are working hard to bring back the money, to rebuild the administration, and if you care to compare, in many countries when there is [revolution], always be a lot of instability, riots, strikes and even violence. In some cases civil war.”

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