PUTRAJAYA, July 9 2019 : Pakatan Harapan (PH) cannot accept new component parties because this will bring problems when choosing candidates for the general election, said its chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
However, the Prime Minister said other party members could join any party that is already in the PH namely Pribumi Bersatu, PKR, DAP and Amanah.
“Everybody wants to be a candidate. We don’t have too many constituencies, so if they want to come into the existing parties, its okay,” he said at a media conference after chairing the PH Presidential Council meeting, here yesterday.
In addition, he said all the four component parties of PH had no problem in maintaining their inter-party relations.
Dr Mahathir said his invitation to Malay party members to join Bersatu was not because of racial sentiments, on the other hand, he wanted the Malays to be united under the existing parties compared to forming other parties.
“Actually I explain that the Malays do not know how to play politics, they are happy merely to become the president. When they are happy, they form a party, soon there will be more parties so eventually the Malays will have no power at all. They are all small parties.
Dr Mahathir said it was enough that there were four existing Malay parties namely Umno, PAS, Pribumi Bersatu and Amanah that they could join.
“If you want to join Umno, you join la. You want to join PAS, you can join but there is no need to form any more new party, there are many already,” he said.
Asked on the statement by Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who rejected his invitation that the Malays join Pribumi Bersatu, he replied: “Of course the president rejected, the others join. Even if the (Umno) president wants to join, we will not allow it.
Dr Mahathir said in jest when asked on the report that he would be attacked by PH leaders at the meeting today following his invitation: “My colleagues did not find me guilty and did not cane me just now.
Dr Mahathir also said there was no problem in the cooperation between the four PH component parties although there might be problems in their respective parties.
According to him, the Cabinet members now comprised all the PH component parties and also participated by Parti Warisan Sabah although the party did not join PH.
“So far, these five parties could make decisions in the Cabinet, we don’t throw bottles at each other, nor hit other people, this only happens in other countries. In Malaysia, we are very polite. Generally, the Cabinet is able to function and that is a plus.”
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was also present at the media conference, was asked on the fear by analysts on the continuation of government policies after taking over the post of prime minister.
When Anwar replied briefly “Tun (Dr Mahathir) is acting based on PH’s policy and I’m the PH member”, it invited a reaction from Dr Mahathir who said jokingly : “PH member must follow the leader. If he does not follow, we will wallop him.”
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said the meeting also agreed that a committee be formed to study how the government would implement the pledges in the PH manifesto in the 14th General Election that had yet to be implemented.
“We have actually implemented many of our pledges but we do not know how to promote or inform the people on our successes not only according to the manifesto but also those not pledged in the manifesto,” he said.
In addition, Dr Mahathir said the meeting also agreed that the involvement of civil servants in politics would be reviewed.
“The civil service is a professional service, if it is tied to some political parties, then it cannot perform well. They should be neutral, so this factor will be studied as to whether anyone of them can join (any political party),” he said.
Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir said the PH would hold the Harapan Rakyat carnival in every state without stating further details on the carnival. – Bernama