With the Malaysian elections looming over the horizon, the mud-slinging between two the political veterans continue to make the front pages. The latest war of words grabbing the headlines are between former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and longtime-time rival DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.

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The DAP veteran last week had denied harbouring any hatred for the former PM, suggesting instead that he only disliked the influential leader’s brand of politics and claimed that Dr. M has been working very hard to keep his “Mahathirism” alive in the ruling Umno through corruption and cronyism.

Reacting to Lim’s attacks against him, Dr Mahathir said he did not care “whether he (Lim) destroys ‘Mahathirism’ or not.” He commented on the statements via his blog CheDet:
 “I wonder why Lim Kit Siang is so afraid of me. His latest fear is about what he calls ‘Mahathirism’. I don’t know what ‘Mahathirism’ is, but obviously it conjures in the mind of Kit Siang something fearful. So he has declared his intention to fight ‘Mahathirism’.

“Actually ‘Mahathirism’ died when Datuk Seri (now Tun) Abdullah took over from me in 2003. He changed Umno, the BN and the government so much that they no longer resemble the institutions I used to know. I had to resign from Umno,”
This ties in to another statement that Lim made where he claimed that former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was replaced with current Prime Minister Najib Razak for failing to dismantle the “Mahathir legacy” of corruption, cronyism and abuses of power.

Dr. Mahathir had been a big critic of Abdullah, and left Umno in 2008; he later rejoined the party when Najib took over as PM from Abdullah in 2009. He added that he was now actively campaigning for Umno because it was “payback time” for the party’s support for him when he was PM.