Dr M: I was inviting party members, not the political entity

Dr M: I was inviting party members, not the political entity

KUALA LUMPUR: My invitation to unite the Malays was directed to members of other parties, not the political entity itself, said Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairperson Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Speaking after the Pakatan Harapan (PH) leadership council meeting yesterday, Mahathir said that Pakatan has enough component parties and there was no need for other parties to join in.

“Pakatan cannot accept any more parties because if we have any more parties, then candidacy for elections will be a problem.

“In the end, everybody would want a candidacy and we don’t have enough constituencies. So, if they join the existing parties, it’s okay,” he said.

Mahathir even drew stitches among the crowd, saying he was having ‘back pain’ after being ‘beaten up’ by fellow Pakatan leaders for inviting other parties to join the coalition.

Last week, Mahathir invited the Malay to unite under PPBM, saying the mushrooming of new Malay-based political parties will render the community fragmented and reduce their potential in winning elections.

However, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi firmly decided against Mahathir’s invite, saying his party and Barisan Nasional will never work with leaders who associate themselves with DAP.

PAS deputy president Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man also shot down the prime minister’s invite, saying the Islamist party will stick with its cooperation with Umno instead.

Touching on Zahid’s refusal to work with PPBM, Mahathir joked that if the Umno president was not interested, others in in the party can join Pakatan.

 “The president doesn’t want, but the others can enter,” he said.

Mahathir also spoke against the formation of new Malay-based political parties, saying the existing PPBM, PKR, PAS and Umno were sufficient to champion the community’s cause.

“There is no need to have 20 to 30 parties just because someone wants to be party president with only two members in it. Parties like this are meaningless.

“The Malays must understand that politics is a serious matter and not just done to satisfy the desires of someone.

“This is not a racist sentiment. This is to save everyone, where if we see the Malays, they are left behind and the reason is not because of me or their party, it is because they don’t want to be united,” he said.

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Pakatan HarapanPASPPBMTun Dr Mahathir MohamadUmno