MUNYONYO (Uganda), 27 July 2009: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today described PAS’s willingness to work with the federal government as insincere and politically motivated.
He said this was because PAS leaders were only out to strengthen PAS and not the Barisan Nasional (BN).
“I know because I’ve experienced it in the Felda schemes. We put in Umno people and after a PAS leader (the late Tan Sri Asri Muda) became the minister responsible for Felda affairs, all the Felda settlers opposed us.
“This was because they campaigned for PAS and not the government,” he told Malaysian journalists after attending the first day of the Smart Partnership Dialogue here.
Mahathir was asked to comment on Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat‘s statement that he wanted to make up and forget the political dispute between the PAS state government and the federal government in the interest of the people and Muslim unity.
Nik Aziz had expressed hope that the differences in opinion between the leaders, especially PAS and Umno leaders, raised in the Manik Urai state by-election, would be forgotten and both sides would return to the spirit of Islamic unity.
Dr Mahathir said Umno should be careful about accepting the offer to cooperate to avoid falling into PAS’s trap.
“Firstly, who does PAS want to cooperate with? If it wants to cooperate with the BN…join the BN. If it wants to cooperate with Umno…it’s a racist party, so I’m worried about its intention,” he said.
On the move by several BN component leaders to join Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), the latest being former MIC vice-president Datuk SS Subramaniam, Dr Mahathir said it would only deter BN members from joining the opposition.
“Not many people from Umno join PKR. I once resigned from Umno but I did not join other parties.
“But we see that many BN component leaders who have been well-treated are still dissatisfied with what they’ve got,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said the best solution to the problem was to have a good government that had the people’s support.
On assumptions by some parties that he was a racist leader because he was seen as fighting for the lot of a certain community as posted in his blog, he said he had long been labelled as a racist leader.
“Before I became prime minister, some viewed me as a Malay ultra. But when I became prime minister I found that the other communities did not complain.
“When I was prime minister they received their rights. Whatever views I post in the blog are facts. If there are facts that I gave that are incorrect, prove it…whatever I said were facts,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said it was a fact that there was a racial imbalance in terms of wealth in the country.
“If necessary, this can be audited. For example, under the New Economic Policy we have succeeded in producing more doctors among Malay [Malaysians] to create balance…what’s wrong with that? If they say I’m racist…they can actually be called racist too,” he added. — Bernama
Nicholas Aw says
Under Tun M’s premiership, there is no denying that he brought the country to great heights never seen before.
The people do not deny that there was a racial imbalance in terms of wealth in the country as claimed by Tun M. In fact, the cause of the imbalance was due to their own fault for not working hard. In a way, Tun M made a few millionaires out of some of these bumiputras but generally many of the bumiputras became too dependent on the government because they were so comfortable with the “sweets” handed out to them.
We do not grudge the government for helping the hardcore poor but let me state an example here and let the people judge whether it is fair. There are two men. Mr M is a bumiputra whereas Mr O is a non-bumiputra. Both are teachers and they earn exactly the same amount of salary each month. Mr M paid RM90K (10% discount for bumiputras) for a terraced house but Mr O paid RM100K for the same type of house.
In the above example, does Mr M deserve help at the expense of Mr O? The developer would not be that silly to want to make a loss. What [the developer] does is to shift the cost to Mr O. This means that Mr O actually paid RM5K out of his pocket for Mr M. This is gross injustice. On the other hand, if Mr M is a lowly paid worker, then extending the discount to him seems pretty fair.
So Tun M, we have nothing against you if you want to help the bumiputras but for goodness sake help the deserving ones. Anyway, you are no more in government, so it is no point barking at you but we do want you to realise the crux of the matter. So, we hope that the current government will be fair in its policy by helping the poor and needy immaterial of their religious and racial standing. After all, we are 1Malaysia, arenâ€™t we?