PETALING JAYA: Khairuddin Abu Hassan has urged Kua Kia Soong to put the past behind him after the Suaram adviser demanded that former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad apologise for the Operasi Lalang which took place 30 years ago.
“Those who were detained are now very close to Tun Mahathir,” the New Generation Party (NewGen) deputy president said today.
He said Kua should let go of the past and address current concerns like saving Malaysia from kleptocracy, overcoming corruption in the government and helping the people.
“He should not cry over spilt milk,” he told FMT.
“All of those who were arrested during the crackdown are now very close (to Mahathir). They do not want to talk about the past, but would rather talk about the future.”
Khairuddin, who is a former Umno and PPBM member, said Kua should let bygones be bygones and look positively to the future.
“Why do you want to instil hatred among us?” he said. “If you keep bringing up the past, it may give some form of unfavourable feelings to all of us.”
Kua was imprisoned for 445 days without trial under Operation Lalang.
The event saw a major crackdown carried out by the police while Mahathir was prime minister and home minister, supposedly to prevent the occurrence of racial riots in the country.
A total of 106 people including NGO activists, students, opposition politicians, religious leaders and artists, were detained without trial under the Internal Security Act (ISA).
Among those detained were DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, who recently declared that the incident would not affect their cooperation with Mahathir to fight the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
Mahathir is currently chairman of PPBM, which is in the Pakatan Harapan opposition coalition along with DAP, PKR and Amanah.
Kua had earlier said that since Mahathir had become a “born-again democrat”, the 92-year-old owed an apology over what had happened.
“And all those ‘democrats’ who say they can allow all this to go on without an apology are walking dead democrats,” he said during Suaram’s 2016 Human Rights Report launch in Kuala Lumpur.
“Some people say there are others who were detained during Operasi Lalang who have forgiven Mahathir and so I should too.
“But in the frame of human rights, you are responsible for what you’ve done and you need to atone for it,” he said.
Ivy Chong contributed to this article.