KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 (Bernama) — Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad admits that it is difficult for the opposition pact to defeat UMNO and the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the upcoming 14th General Election (GE14).
The former prime minister who had administered the country for 22 years from 1981 to 2003 said without a strong opposition party including an overall opposition pact currently, efforts to compete with UMNO and BN, that was made up of 13 component parties representing the various races throughout the country, was difficult.
“To win we must have our own pact too. That is why we formed the ‘Pakatan Harapan’,”he said in a live session through his Facebook account today to answer questions from facebook users.
Dr Mahathir said this when replying to a question on the decision of PPBM in choosing to have ties with the DAP and PKR — two political parties which had been his arch enemies when he was leading UMNO and BN.
Asked why PPBM did not cooperate with PAS, Dr Mahathir said PPBM and its political partners including PKR and DAP had repeatedly persuaded PAS to join in the pact but PAS declined and continued to reject their offer.
He also claimed PAS was lately seen to be giving more importance to its relations with UMNO, to the extent that it was willing to reject and terminate its ties with the other opposition partners, hindering the efforts of PPBM to create a single opposition pact in the country.
“We even delayed the formation of Pakatan Harapan as we wanted to get the agreement of PAS, but PAS placed more importance on its ties with UMNO,” he said.
Dr Mahathir doubted how PAS could cooperate with UMNO whereas the country’s political history had seen PAS as having labelled UMNO as a party of infidels when it forged cooperation with non-Malay and non-Islamic political parties such as the MCA and Gerakan.
The interview session lasted 30 minutes.