Grudges held against former dictator Dr Mahathir Mohamad surfaced at the anti-GST rally when former Reformasi activists and political supporters of former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim present derided the former Prime Minister when he made an appearance at the rally.
The attacks came before, during and right after Dr Mahathir gave a speech at a makeshift stage on a lorry near Dataran Merdeka.
PKR leader Badrulamin Bahrom, who was scheduled to recite the event’s closing prayers, asked for divine retribution to “punish those who did zalim (injustice) when they are alive.”
Addressing a crowd of only 1,000 who had waited until the end for Mahathir’s speech, Badrulamin said: “You think you are Mahafiraun, but Mahafiraun were drowned in the sea. You think you are Mahazalim, but God will pulverise Zalim people.”
Mahafiraun and Mahazalim were nicknames for Mahathir that became widespread and popular among opposition supporters of the Reformasi era after Mahathir sacked Anwar Ibrahim, his then deputy, from the Cabinet in 1998.
Anwar was jailed for alleged abuse of power and is currently serving a jail sentence on a sodomy charge, which his supporters believe to be part of a political conspiracy against him.
Badrulamin even included “Punish those who first jailed Anwar and those who keep jailing Anwar” in the closing prayers.
Earlier, Mahathir was made the butt of a joke by Amanah president Mohamad Sabu who chided his former foe by telling the audience: “Don’t worry, people, Tun is old. He won’t be Prime Minister again,” drawing laughter from the crowd.
While Mahathir was speaking, some opposition supporters also chanted asking for Mahathir to leave. About 200 of them wearing masks kept shouting “Reformasi” and “Undur (step down) Mahathir” during his speech. Most of them were members of PKR, the party formed and led by Anwar. Among them was Badrulamin himself before he was called to recite the closing prayers.