KUALA LUMPUR, July 13 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today admitted to the turnabouts on matters such as his views on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, but denied he did so from fear of being prosecuted.
The former prime minister wrote on his blog to claim today that his paradigm shifts were instead motivated by his desire to challenge those whom he accused of stealing from the country.
He also said his turnabout on Anwar was not his first, saying he had done so “long before” he finally agreed to support the latter to become prime minister, despite previously saying that Anwar must never rise to the position.
“In the effort to destroy the demon, I found common ground with the parties opposed to Umno and BN (Barisan Nasional).
“I found common ground with Anwar Ibrahim. I found that Anwar and me can work together after I had made my U-turn,” he wrote on his blog today.
In an interview with British media, Dr Mahathir withdrew his previous rejection of Anwar and said he would not stand in the way of the latter becoming prime minister if Pakatan Harapan wins the general election and Anwar somehow secures a royal pardon for his second sodomy conviction.
Days later, however, Dr Mahathir appeared to shift again, when he was reported by The Star Online news portal as disputing his reported support for Anwar to become PM.
Dr Mahathir and Anwar had been considered irreconcilable foes until their recent “reconciliation”, and political rivals promptly seized on the volte-face to accuse the former prime minister of abandoning any remaining principles in his quest to remove Datuk Seri Najib Razak as prime minister.
Dr Mahathir's son, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, testified in court today that his father has been working to remove Najib since 2014.
Critics also accused Dr Mahathir of seeking to reconcile with Anwar to prevent the latter from implicating him in Bank Negara Malaysia's foreign exchange scandal from the late 80s to early 90s, which is now the subject of a Royal Commission of Inquiry.
The former prime minister today claimed that the RCI was not formed to investigate the losses that have been estimated to be as much as RM30 billion, but to silence critics of the Najib administration.
Since leaving Umno after failing to unseat Najib, Dr Mahathir has shifted his position on various matters, such as embracing opposition party DAP and its leaders whom he had attacked and reviled as recently as during campaigning for Election 2013.