The federal Opposition will use a single symbol and avoid fielding multiple candidates for each seat in the 14th general election, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
Noting that Opposition parties had previously failed to unseat the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition due to lack of unity, Dr Mahathir said the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) which he chairs will be part of a new Opposition coalition that will be more united than ever before.
“We, the Opposition coalition, will use one symbol, one manifesto and place only one candidate in each ‘kawasan’ (constituency).
“All component parties will support this one candidate. There will not be any candidates that will represent our coalition party,” he said in a speech last night, which was greeted with cries of “Hidup Tun” (Long live Tun!).
Dr Mahathir said that those claiming to be opposing BN but were not part of the Opposition coalition would be “betraying” Malaysians by throwing in their candidates into the fray.
“Maybe there will be other parties that purportedly will oppose BN. They don’t have to deny because the placing of their candidates will only split the people’s support towards the Opposition coalition so Najib will win,” he said, referring to BN chairman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Dr Mahathir did not name specific political parties.
“However, PPBM and the opposition coalition is willing to face the challenge of fights of three-corners or more,” he said.
Dr Mahathir insisted that anyone else who is not part of the Opposition pact knows that their candidates will not win and are in effect supporting BN by causing division among the Opposition, adding that voters should be aware that voting for a third or fourth group will amount to voting for BN.
PPBM had last month already inked an agreement with the existing Opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan — composed of PKR, DAP and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) — to formalise their cooperation for GE14.
PAS has yet to agree to work with PKR and PPBM and is still in talks with them, but had last March together with Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia formed the new Opposition alliance Gagasan Sejahtera — which is seen as a “third force” — now joined also by Berjasa.
PAS has said it is willing to have one-to-one fights in the elections that must be held by 2018, but its refusal to work with DAP or Amanah has raised concerns on whether it would clash with them and BN in certain seats.
The PPBM’s launch last night was attended by leaders from the federal Opposition, including PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu and deputy president Salahuddin Ayub, Amanah vice-president Datuk Mujahid Yusof Rawa, DAP vice-chairman Teresa Kok and PAS’s Datuk Mahfuz Omar.
Also sighted in the crowd was former Umno law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.
Later when met after the event, PPBM deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir confirmed to reporters that PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man was unable to attend the party’s launch due to other commitments.
As for Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, Mukhriz said he was similarly unable to attend.
“We invited him but he mentioned he might have something on in Sabah so he couldn’t make it, but he said that his heart is with us, but he’s got his mission in Sabah that he needs to take care of,” he told reporters.
Source : IDA LIM @ The Malay Mail Online