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Date: 22 Nov 1999
Govt always wrong and Anwar always right, laments PM
KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday lamented the fact that the Government could do no right in any matter involving Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. "If he (Anwar) had filed his nomination papers and it was rejected, we get blamed. If he doesn't file, we get blame so we can do no right," Dr Mahathir told reporters after launching Barisan's manifesto here yesterday.
On Saturday, Parti Keadilan Nasional did not, as expected, nominate Anwar to contest the polls because he did not want to risk it being rejected and therefore allowing a Barisan victory.
Dr Mahathir described Anwar as someone "who is always right," adding that he regretted the fact that the Government could not reply to charges levelled against it in court.
He added that the laws of the country applied to every one, including even a deputy prime minister.
"But we are always wrong and he is always right," he said.
The Prime Minister was also asked about opposition accusations that Barisan advertisements which appeared in newspapers yesterday were inflammatory and irresponsible and an attempt to scare voters.
"It is only the truth and if we don't learn from history we will repeat our mistakes," Dr Mahathir said.
Citing the 1969 race riot, he said it resulted from the uncertainty as to which party was in power.
"So we want the people to be able to make a choice.
"If they choose the opposition, they should (also) give them a two-thirds majority," he said.
Earlier, at the launch, Dr Mahathir said the Barisan should take credit for PAS and DAP putting aside their racial sentiments and being able to work together.
Poking fun at the odd alliance of what he claimed to be an Islamic extremist party and a Chinese chauvinist party, Dr Mahathir said:
"The PAS leader, Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, said previously that only an ulamak should be the prime minister meaning himself of course. But now he says Lim Kit Siang can be the prime minister. This means he is saying that Lim is an ulamak," drawing laughter from the floor.