"One cannot deny that his 22 years in power was made possible by the use of draconian laws to jail dissidents and critics," he said.
"Dr Mahathir introduced money politics in Umno, robbed the judiciary of its independence, clamped down on street protests and kept a heavy lid on freedom of the media," added Santiago.
"The point here is that everyone who comes on board his bandwagon have a personal agenda, simmering vengeance, need for revenge: in short, an axe to grind," he said.
And the question would still remain if the move was merely an act of revenge by Dr Mahathir.
"As for Mahathir critics, the question would still remain if this is an act of revenge because Najib had flatly refused to continue Dr Mahathir's policies, setting in motion the crumbling of his legacy.