Call it an endorsement, recognition or anything you want.
Since Prime Minister reshuffled his Cabinet on July 28 and appointed Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as his new deputy, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has - for the fist time - commented on it.
First, he said Najib deserves every right to make changes to his Cabinet lineup, and secondly he supports Zahid for the No. 2 post.
Well, Dr Mahathir sure knows Zahid inside out for the days when the latter was with Umno Youth, how he had proven his loyalty to the bosses and the party, and how he had distanced himself from Mahathir-Anwar Ibrahim 'conflict'.
Dr Mahathir today said Ahmad Zahid, a former Umno Youth chief and currently one of the three vice presidents in Umno, was as eligible as anyone else.
“He had the highest votes as the vice president anyway,” he said when asked to comment on the latest Cabinet reshuffle.
Dr Mahathir said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had every right to change the Cabinet’s composition at his discretion.
“We have shuffled the Cabinet all the time, It is the prerogative of the PM. I think the PM thinks this is the better cabinet.”
But Dr Mahathir also made his sentiment clear, in line with the attacks launched against the Najib administration.
“But the public sentiment on the Cabinet reshuffle is obvious when you see the comments on Facebook on the matter.”
Dr Mahathir further sarcastically said it was now seen as being a criminal offence to speak about 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) – the strategic fund which has come under relentless attack by various opposition members and several blogs, that has since come under scrutiny for possible falsification of facts.
In a related development, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan has denied anything to do with a viral audio clip where an unidentified person says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was factually correct when he spoke on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issue.
The Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar also vehemently denied that his voice was used in the 1 minute 54 second audio recording.
"Allegations that the recording was made using my voice are totally baseless. I have nothing to do with the recording which is a diabolical attempt to pit me against leaders in Umno and the Government," he said Thursday.
In the clip, the individual was heard saying in Bahasa Malaysia that although he was not siding with Muhyiddin, the former deputy prime minister was merely stating a fact when he touched on the 1MDB saga at the opening of the Cheras Umno meeting.
Without referring to any political party or group, the individual then said that "they" were willing to help sort out the issue and would not demand for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's resignation.
He also said that all former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wanted to know was what happened to the billions of Ringgit of 1MDB funds.
He also mocked the arrest of a despatch clerk when they should have actually questioned the main suspect in the alleged embezzlement.
Poor Mohamad. He must have had sleepless nights. However, I keep wondering whose voice is it?