PETALING JAYA: Veteran politician Daim Zainuddin tried to protect Dr Mahathir Mohamad from a perceived effort to show the former prime minister as the sole person responsible for the fall from power of Pakatan Harapan (PH).
Referring to the recently published memoirs of Tommy Thomas, he said it was unreasonable for the former attorney-general to place the blame squarely at the feet of Mahathir because in government “there is the concept of collective responsibility.”
Thomas argues in his book that the collapse of PH after 22 months in power was due to the inaction of Mahathir in the face of ethnic and religious assaults against the coalition.
Daim recognized Thomas’ right to record his observations in an email exchange with FMT, but said he believed Malaysians were aware that during his second term, Mahathir exerted less influence as prime minister than he did during his first.
“He did not have the might of Umno backing him as he did in his previous stint,” he said.
“He had to govern by consensus. In fact, he was stymied at almost every corner by members of his own coalition, with their individual personal party politics overshadowing the national agenda.”
Governing by consensus, Daim said, indicated that Cabinet members as well as government backbenchers should share the responsibility for the coalition’s inability to resolve problems that emerged.
“For instance, racism surely cannot be resolved through the actions of one man. Everyone has to work together to resolve this very serious issue.
“It is very simplistic and exceedingly unfair to place the problem of racism squarely on one man’s shoulders. We all have a role to play if we really love our country.”
After it took power in May 2018, Daim was chairman of the Council of Eminent Persons that PH created.
He said anyone doing a good job should always be encouraged by the public.
“We cannot function or operate alone. We must always give credit to our team. For those in leadership positions, it is their duty to bring out the best in their team and give credit where it is due.”
After it took power in May 2018, Daim was chairman of the Council of Eminent Persons that PH created. He said anyone doing a good job should always be encouraged by the public.