Dr Mahathir must realise he's just a puppet: Tengku Sariffuddin

KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is "either delusional and divorced from reality or deliberately deceiving the people" when he claims that he is the opposition "top dog" equivalent to prime minister, said Datuk Seri Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad, press secretary to the Prime Minister.

He said the real dictator of the opposition was Lim Kit Siang, the DAP advisor who was "kept invisible on their (opposition Pakatan Harapan pact) leadership chart".

"Dr Mahathir now claims that as opposition chairman he is their 'top dog' and prime minister equivalent. But he is either delusional and divorced from reality or deliberately deceiving the people, because the real dictator of the opposition is Lim Kit Siang – who is kept invisible on their leadership chart," he said in a statement today.

Tengku Sariffuddin said Dr Mahathir's Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) had only one parliamentary seat compared to the DAP's 38 seats, the highest among the opposition parties.

"So, in reality Kit Siang is the master and Dr Mahathir the puppet. Just as all the publicly listed top leaders of the opposition were Malay, camouflaging DAP's real control​," he said.

Last week, Pakatan Harapan announced its leadership structure, naming Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as de facto leader, Dr Mahathir as chairman and Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as president.

It also named Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (PPBM), Lim Guan Eng (DAP) and Mohamad Sabu (Amanah) as the deputy presidents.

On Dr Mahathir's challenge for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to engage in a debate with him in the "Nothing To Hide 2.0" programme organised by the PPBM Armada, Tengku Sariffuddin questioned the move, saying that when he was prime minister Dr Mahathir never held debates with his political adversaries.

"Dr Mahathir never held open town hall debates with his political enemies during the 22 years as prime minister," he said.

Dr Mahathir had reportedly challenged Najib to the "Nothing To Hide 2.0" debate said to be scheduled for Aug 13. — Bernama