KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad gave Datuk Seri Najib Razak a poor rating today, on the eve of the latter’s 100th day in office as prime minister.
But the country’s longest-serving prime minister, well known for his acid tongue, appeared to ease up somewhat in his blistering criticisms today.
“So far, the negatives are more than the positives,” Dr Mahathir said when asked to comment on Najib’s performance.
The good doctor seemed in good spirits today, which is his 84th birthday, and seemed at first disinclined to elaborate on Najib’s weaknesses.
He repeated his previous disappointment at Najib’s idea to build a third bridge linking Malaysia and Singapore on the underdeveloped east flank of Johor because it was done without “proper study” and would not solve the increasing traffic problems on land and sea.
He also listed the government’s policy reversal on teaching mathematics and science in English and Umno’s failure to boot out certain partymen who had been linked to corruption as among other examples of Najib’s poor decision-making.
And then the politician was asked his view of Najib’s “positive” points.
“Well… he has also been meeting more people,” he smiled, referring to Najib’s walkabout attempts to endear himself to the public since taking office, before dropping the punch line.
“And secondly, he doesn’t sleep,” Dr Mahathir added, in an apparent dig at his successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who was widely seen as sleeping on the job — literally and metaphorically.
MORE TO COME