Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said Dr Mahathir had a soft spot for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, so much so that he "made excuses" for the latter, especially when the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition did badly in last year's general election.
This was despite the statesman stressing on the importance of Najib faring better than his predecessor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who led BN to its worst performance in the 2008 general election when it lost its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority.
"All these things about liberal leader, open-minded leader, moderate leader, these are all jargons, these are all clichés. You need a prime minister that does the work, as simple as that,” said Kadir, a strong supporter of Dr Mahathir and a vocal critic of the Najib administration.
"I have written in my blog and I am saying that if there is any dilemma today about the government, leadership of the government and Umno, it was caused by Dr Mahathir.
“Before the 2013 general election, he said clearly and repeatedly if Najib didn't do well, then something has to be done to him. He kept saying Najib has to do better than Pak Lah because Pak Lah was an example of complete failure," he said in using the popular moniker for Abdullah.
"But after Najib performed worse than Pak Lah, he changed his tune. In fact, he made excuses on behalf of Najib and Umno, maybe because he loves Najib, he really loves Najib," he said in an interview with InciteMyTV.
Pointing out that Dr Mahathir was Najib's "political father", the former editor-in-chief of English daily New Straits Times said Dr Mahathir "took care" of Najib from 1981 when he became prime minister, including any attempts to unseat Najib.
Kadir said because of this, Dr Mahathir, as a father figure to Najib, had the right to say: "You arenot doing the right thing, please do it (the right thing)".
In lashing out against Najib's administration, Malaysia's longest serving prime minister had recently declared he was withdrawing his support for Najib as his criticism had fallen on deaf ears.
“I have tried to give my views to him directly, which are also the views of many people who have met me," said Dr Mahathir in his popular blog, chedet.cc.
"I have no choice but to withdraw my support. This has not been effective so I have to criticise," he said, adding that Najib was no better than Abdullah.
However, Dr Mahathir said the criticism against Najib was not personal, adding that he did not want Najib to resign.
He was unhappy with Najib's policies and his soft approaches which he felt did not bring any benefit to the country.
Although Najib's cabinet colleagues had defended the administration, his party colleagues, however, have been cautious in their reaction to Dr Mahathir's criticism.
Although Najib had refused to be drawn to Dr Mahathir's grouses, which he had described as an internal Umno matter, the party's powerful supreme council had apparently told Najib he needed to show some toughness since the government had been viewed as soft since GE13.
Kadir said Najib should lead public opinion, as was the case with Dr Mahathir.
"As he sees now, the government is not leading public opinion, the opposition is doing it."
He said the country needed a strong leader to steer the nation forward. – September 4, 2014.
To the ex-PM DrM. Honestly our current PM Najib has done very well by any standards ..Well done!! Just look at the respect and love he had shown for the Malaysian citizens and his beloved country. Steadfastly through his stewardship, I believe our country will continue to grow and prosper. Semarak lah negaraku Malaysia!