“He (Najib) is trying. I cannot say he is able to (bring the nation) achieve Vision 2020 but lots of people say Malaysia is already a developed country,” said Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
However, Dr Mahathir said Najib was having a “hard time” following the smaller majority in Parliament and was dealing with crises.
“He doesn’t have the majority that I had. I had (bigger) majority that I was able to handle a lot of opposition. So, he has a hard time,” he told reporters after hosting a luncheon for delegates attending the International Forum on ‘Politics of Economic and Social Transformation in the Era of Global Crisis’, in conjunction with the Umno General Assembly 2011 yesterday.
Earlier, when opening the forum, Najib said: “I told Dr Mahathir, ‘You did the easy part, you did the ‘what’ part, but I have to do the ‘how’ part.”
On Umno, Dr Mahathir said the party is progressing and “it is better than in 2008”.
“In 2008, I know lots of Umno members voted for the opposition, not because they are ‘less Umno’ but they did not like the leadership at that time,” he said.
Earlier, in his speech, Dr Mahathir urged all countries to be ready to tackle the global crisis which was “contagion” due to globalisation.
“What we have to accept is, we can no longer isolate ourselves from what is happening in the rest of the world.
“In fact, if we study what is happening in the rest of the world and assume that what is happening in the rest world will also happen in our country, and we see how the problem is tackled, then, we can carry out the same changes in our country to forestall any uprising,” he said.
However, Dr Mahathir said it could not be the same remedy for every country in tackling a global crisis, following the different environments.
“You need to adjust yourselves to the change of environment. It depends on your country.
“Malaysia is trying on lots of transformation. I hope the government will succeed in transforming the economy and society itself. I hope, by so doing, they will continue to be supported by the people and this country will continue to prosper,” he added.