KUALA LUMPUR — May 19, 20: Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the chairman and main man behind the existence of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, has again spoken out against the chance of the opposition Pakatan Harapan grouping to defeat Umno and the Barisan Nasional in the 14th general election expected to be held later this year.
The former prime minister who ruled the country for 22 years until 2003 said that without a strong opposition, efforts to compete with the ruling coalition comprising 13 parties representing the various races in the country would always as difficult.
“To win we must have our own pact too. That is why we formed Pakatan Harapan,” he said in a live session through his Facebook account today to answer questions from Facebookers.
Mahathir said this when replying to a question on the decision of Pribumi Bersatu to link up with the DAP and PKR — two parties which were strongly opposed to his rule of the country.
Asked why his party is not cooperating with PAS, Mahathir said Pribumi Bersatu and its partners had repeatedly persuaded PAS to join the pact but was rejected.
He also claimed that PAS was lately seen to be giving more importance to its relations with Umno, to the extent that it was willing to reject and terminate its ties with the other opposition partners.
“We even delayed the formation of Pakatan Harapan as we wanted to get the agreement of PAS but it placed more importance on its ties with Umno,” he said.
Mahathir also doubted how PAS could cooperate with Umno whereas the country’s political history had seen PAS as having labelled Umno as a party of infidels when it forged cooperation with non-Malay and non-Islamic political parties.
The interview lasted 30 minutes. — Bernama