KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has demonstrated a gentleman’s approach to relentless attacks by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and remained civil despite having to face dirty tactics, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak said today.
He said Dr Mahathir has made personal attacks, delivered insults, committed slander and engaged in vilification against the Prime Minister in a manner which goes beyond politics – and even beyond basic human decency.
He noted that Islam regards slander as a severe crime.
Salleh said it is normal to have differences of opinion in politics, and it is natural to openly express these differences.
“That is the bedrock of democracy – and freedom of expression is part and parcel of democracy.
“But what Mahathir is doing cannot be called democracy or freedom of expression,” he said in his blog.
Salleh said the country has laws against criminal defamation, and slandering someone is a crime – but Dr Mahathir appears to have no respect or regard for the law.
“He makes disparaging statements against Najib and accuses him of all sorts of things. This is very irresponsible for someone who used to be Malaysia’s Prime Minister, and he is setting a bad example for the youth,” he said.
Salleh said the Malays have what is called “adab” or manners which must be minded.
“We must refrain from bringing (things) down to gutter politics, where anything goes and slander becomes the new political culture in Malaysia,” he added. – Bernama