Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is “a champion of U-turns”.
This is the label bestowed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on the ex-premier, who appears to have backpedalled on his stance on 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M).
During the official launch of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) at Stadium Melawati, Selangor, yesterday, Tun Mahathir said that BR1M may continue to be distributed by the opposition should it wrest power from Barisan Nasional (BN) in the next general election.
Last month, Tun Mahathir, who is also PPBM chairman, had claimed that BR1M is a form of corruption and is illegal.
Yesterday, he said BR1M would be placed solely under the government's purview and not be part of the party’s political manifesto, should the opposition come to power.
During a press conference here today, Najib said that Tun Mahathir’s reversal on the issue showed that he has made a major U-turn on his stand.
"He is a champion of U-turns (‘jaguh U-turn’), as he has issued a statement that contradicts his (earlier stance).
"The government has never considered BR1M as corruption, as it is not that different (from the aid given out in opposition-led) Selangor and Penang.
"Even when (Tun Mahathir) was prime minister, he gave out (financial) aid to the people," said Najib, who is also Pekan member of Parliament.