Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad addressed criticism of his cooperation with DAP, pointing out that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s father too had forged an alliance with the opposition.
Speaking at a ceramah in Kota Bharu last night, Mahathir made reference to then prime minister Abdul Razak Hussein’s efforts to unite the Alliance and opposition after the 1969 racial riots, resulting in the creation of BN in 1973.
Abdul Razak’s olive branch to the opposition included the DAP, which declined to join the new coalition.
“Some people have asked me, how can I work with (DAP’s) Lim Kit Siang when I fiercely condemned him in the past and he did the same to me.
“But in our efforts to achieve success, we have to always be smart. For example, take what Tun Razak did to save the country.
“He invited the opposition parties to form a coalition which has today grown to become even bigger.
All of them were from the opposition, but It was Tun Razak’s wisdom in wanting to strengthen the government,” he was quoted as saying in aSinar Harian report today.
Mahathir explained he was employing the same strategy as he understood the opposition’s problem, which was that it often fought among itself, thus failing to garner enough parliamentary seats to form the government.
He stressed the need of ensuring one-on-one contests in the upcoming general election.
Also present at the event was Mahathir’s wife Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, his son Mukhriz Mahathir and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) pro-tem president Muhyiddin Yassin.
Mahathir said he was disappointed at the state of Umno, and that removing Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak alone was no longer sufficient as Umno as a whole had to be replaced.
He said this was because the leaders in Umno were no longer leaders, as they feared to speak up and would only follow orders.
“This party (Umno) has to be defeated and we need a new party that is stronger than Umno.
“I loved Umno, that was why I was with Umno for a long time,” he said.