'I did not order Ops Lalang' - Dr Mahathir

22 Mar 2023 12:46pm
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

KUALA LUMPUR - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has denied that he issued orders for the infamous Operation Lalang or 'Ops Lalang', which saw the arrest of hundreds of opposition leaders and his detaractors during his reign as the fourth Prime Minister.

The Malay Proclamation secretariat adviser insisted that the decisions on Ops Lalang were made by the police, as explained by former Inspector General of Police Tun Mohammed Hanif Omar.

"The Prime Minister needs to listen to the police's opinions as they are responsible for the national security and their views and advice can't be simply rejected.

"Those in Pakatan Harapan (PH) always blame me for Ops Lalang.

"However, when something benefits their objectives, they would proudly accept me as a friend and choose me as their Prime Minister candidate," said the former two-time Prime Minister in his latest social media post today.

On Monday, former Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto had criticised Mahathir for his remarks calling Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim a 'dictator'.

Kasthuri said that Dr Mahathir was a person who should not have branded Anwar a dictator considering Ops Lalang was carried out during his administration in 1987.

The operation launched on Oct 27, 1987 saw 119 civil society activists, intellectuals and opposition politicians detained without trial under the now repealed Internal Security Act (ISA).

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Among those arrested was Kasthuri's father P Patto who was a DAP leader around the 1970s and 80s and also served as Menglembu MP in Ipoh in addition to being Bagan State Legislative Assemblyman before he died in 1995.

Apart from Kasthuri, several other leaders such as former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak also called out the irony of Mahathir accusing the government led by Anwar as dictatorship for restricting freedom of expression and taking actions to suppress opposition parties.