KUALA LUMPUR,. Prominent lawyer N. Surendran has hit out at Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar for calling Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad a ‘former dictator who wreaked so much damage’ during an interview with Singapore daily The Straits Times (ST).
The adviser for Lawyers for Liberty (LFL) this evening in a tweet expressed his dismay with the former PKR vice-president questioning if comments made by her, during the interview with ST’s Sunday edition, the Sunday Times, were acceptable.
Surendran had not named Nurul Izzah in his tweet but made his intentions clear with a Malaysiakini news report link attached to his post.
“In the middle of the escalating water agreement dispute and a serious ongoing territorial conflict, a prominent PH (Pakatan Harapan) MP calls the PM a ‘former dictator who wreaked so much damage’ in an interview to a leading Singapore daily.
“The timing, platform, and manner is all wrong,” said Surendran in his tweet.
Surendran was referring to the current water sales agreement talks and maritime territorial disputes between Malaysia and Singapore, and the news scoop through the exclusive interview.
In the interview published in ST, Nurul Izzah commented on Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and explained the challenges she faced while working with Dr Mahathir to form Pakatan Harapan (PH), after the latter had put her father Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in jail for sodomy and corruption in the late 1990s.
Anwar was deputy prime minister when he was arrested and convicted, with many alleging it was politically motivated by Dr Mahathir in fear of the wide support Anwar was amassing.
Following PH’s unprecedented victory over Barisan Nasional during the 2018 general elections, Dr Mahathir was appointed Prime Minister for the second time.
Anwar was then granted a Royal Pardon by the then Yang Dipertuan Agong and released from jail, in Dr Mahathir’s first few moves as prime minister.