It was wrong of me to sack Anwar, says Dr Mahathir

FORMER prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said if he could turn back time, he would not have sacked his deputy, Anwar Ibrahim.

In an interview with Sin Chew Daily, the Pakatan Harapan chairman said he made the wrong decision in firing Anwar, but he “had no choice”.

Effective July 2018, access to full reports will only be available with a subscription. Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access!

Subscribe Now!

Sign up or sign in here to comment.


  • Dr. Mahathir sacked Anwar in 1998 or 1997 or 1996, I can’t remember exactly when , but what I do remember exactly is the why he sacked Anwar - dr. Mahathir sacked Anwar because he accused Anwar of being an unfit leader, because he had grounds to believe that Anwar was a sodomite.

    This i remember clearly , because it was them from dr. Mahathirs accusation that I first found out of the existence of the word sodomite or liwat, which is the Malay language equivalent of the word sodomy.

    An apology is only proper and sincere when one owns up to ones weakness , apologise for it , and promise to strengthen oneself enough to not to repeat the offence again .

    If Dr. Mahathir is truly sorry for sacking Anwar , he should admit that he has accused Anwar of being a sodomite although he had no reason to believe that Anwar was a sodomite, and he should say to protect wjat weakness of his that he threw such a grievous allegation upon it , and then only apologise and promise not to do it again.

    If he does not own up to his weakness, his apology cannot be considered as proper or sincere.

    Him saying that it was wrong for him to sack Anwar a long time ago, can simply be taken as an act of political expediency - perhaps dr. Mahathir is worrried that the number of people disgruntled by the sacking of Anwar 20 years ago, would find dr.mahathirs position as the leader of the opposition as so distasteful , that it is going to cost the opposition a significant number of votes.

    Posted 4 years ago by Nehru Sathiamoorthy

    • He will never reveal the true reason for the sacking ..... neither will the "prisoner at bamboo river" ...... Both know but will NEVER tell the truth to preserve their reputations. Just ask yourself why after this incident, PMs thereafter hold the Finance portfolio concurrently. See? Please remember DSAI (and Azmin) are grandmasters at Machiavellian politics.

      Posted 4 years ago by Malaysian First

    • It is very easy for arm chair critics to give their "no cent" (you read it as nonsense ) view. A forth coming apologies or not at all in the pipe line will never please anyone with partisan sentiments and worst of all, the insinuators of the other political divide. Can see your view that you are extremely concern about the old man aplogies and the fear on the detriments for the opposition block. Well !!! could you do better or would you like to lead the opposition for the clamouring changes. We all will support you if the shoes fit.!!!! For us as Rakyat we need someone be it good or bad to kick start a change and gather the momentum for us to be in that driver seat. Spare me your old mother tales that the old man has not changed and will not relinquish his post as GE14 PM. We have not even started the journey and many like you in the subtle deluge of your amatuerish political barrages pouring cold water on every constructive actions by the opposition, just to derail the the line of sight but it works no where. I think you better absorb this meassage that come what may be it hell weather or back water rising nothing will ever stop the process for a change

      Posted 4 years ago by Lee Lee

  • Seriously speaking, Redoubtable TDM's latest admission of his mistake reminds me of the slow-moving drab movie The Unforgiven both directed & starred by Hollywood evergreen giant the day of reckoning or repentance does not necessarily have to come after life. It's heartening and relieving to note that tis once elf-anointed who-could-do-no-wrong veteran politician is gradually but surely coming to his senses. Kudos to him as to err is huan, to be able to realise one's wrongful deeds, express regrets and tender sincere apologies shows that he's a brave noble man still. Good luck TDM#

    Posted 4 years ago by Musang Wang

    • Totally agreed. No point in bashing up historical ills as it does not change the much needed changes the country needs. It is between Madhatir and Anwar to forgive each other for their own wrongs and no other person to demand and be a "kay po chi" or "fire stone" to that effect. Whether the endless appologies are appropriate and accepted are not revealed to all the "busybody" and of no consequences to any critics giving their useless "no cent" view.

      Posted 4 years ago by Lee Lee

  • enough said dr
    you did not have to sack him
    could have waited for his trial
    we did not need a dpm during the crisis
    you made it a big deal
    you know if umno politicians were corrupt ?
    when did the disease begin
    prior to your premiership or during your term
    please disclose so that we can correctly amputate the rotten parts or
    if its so rotten requiring extermination then we should do it

    Posted 4 years ago by Satkunabalan Sabaratnam

    • ...... an unintended consequence is the emergence of a relatively strong opposition and a weakened BN today. In retrospect, the sacking was a blessing for all Malaysians who were sickened with the corrupted and self-serving BN ....

      Posted 4 years ago by Malaysian First

  • It was said that sodomy is not a crime elsewhere, like in England. Do we still want to keep it on the statute book, seeing that more guys nowadays are comfortable with each other? Likewise women..

    Posted 4 years ago by MELVILLE JAYATHISSA

    • Now why on earth did I take temporary leave of my depleted senses to make an "illegal", wrong, unacceptable, etc. comment like that? I must be investigated as I am not above the law!

      Posted 4 years ago by MELVILLE JAYATHISSA

  • He sacked Anwar because Anwar was a political threat when he was weakest during the financial crises. Frankly, many of us, if not most would or could have done the same. Was it wrong? Who knows? Zahid Hamidi was Anwar's deputy.Look a at him now..Hard to say.

    Posted 4 years ago by Bigjoe Lam

  • A good politician is one who cares for the people. So what if you are a lesbian? Not wearing a hijab? A homo? A flirt? How do these harm or hurt the people. Only hypocrites tend to make mistakes and hurt others.

    Posted 4 years ago by Tanahair Ku

  • The hypocrite’s hypocrite. A person who will say whatever is necessary to fool the gullible. The fact that some Malaysians still believe this person is truly amazing

    Posted 4 years ago by Dennis Madden

    • If the saying is needed to fool the gullibles , so be it if the end result is good to warrant a change in regime for a good ending. Let the hypocrisy have its wonders rather than all the hypocrite who criticize and criticize for the sake criticizing and not able to contribute a change. My question is who are you believing?? the hypocrite of the 2.6b with endless scandals and relieving off the country wealth and still pounding you to pulps or the hypocrite who wants to change where the Rakyat can have the opportunity to create a new destiny. I believe the BRIM must have altered your ability to rationalize.

      Posted 4 years ago by Lee Lee

    • Your obsession with the need for change, simply to sooth your own ego is astounding in its selfishness. Made even more astounding because the dogma you spout is not your own. I will be the first to admit that there is nothing commendable about the BN government, as there is nothing commendable about the collection of failures labouring under the delusion of the Harapan ‘coalition’. If you want change then make the change substantial and worthwhile. Harapan is more notable for what it avoids saying rather than for what it says. If you can’t see through Harapan bluster and if you think Harapan offers anything to this nation, then you truly do deserve their governance ,

      Posted 4 years ago by Dennis Madden

    • I believe your grey matters are muddled up with what is written by me. Let me reiterate---- there is just no such ego trip for Malaysian to have a change but a mandatory change it has to be inorder for everyone to a have country where we can cal safe home. Not neccessarily perfect . What dogma are you talking about??? You admitted that there is nothing in BN and also you do not see much of PH ... So ??? what's your issues and so what will be your battle cries as it seem that you are just like those spoil idealist brats of Undi Rosak who are still enjoying the good life from others toil and yet making empty comments just to be noticed. It is just like the lazy idealist who when the world comes crashing down , he just take a blanket and cover himself completely without a care of actions. If you think that both UmnoBN and PH is not your government to be and you are happy if they are not I would gladyly advise you, please go somewhere as you truly do not deserve to be the son of this country as your indifferent attitude is not helping both UmnoBN or PH or the rest to make a choice for a change. This you do not want and that you do not want , you think you can get a government of your 100% to your tune. Come of it and please stop dreaming>

      Posted 4 years ago by Lee Lee

  • No regrets sacking Anwar, Dr M stands firm on '98 decision - 21 Jul 2017

    Hahaha bend over pakatoons

    Posted 4 years ago by R. R.

    • What a wonderful idea!!!!. Yes we will bend as you are there in the front of us with your back.

      Posted 4 years ago by Lee Lee