NILAI, Jul 16 – Leaders of political parties have dismissed as insignificant the announced formation of a new political party by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the proposed aligning of it with a few other parties in a new opposition pact.
MIC President Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said Dr Mahathir was seen as demeaning his status and standard as a statesman by his desire to set up the new party. He said the former prime minister’s opposition to the Barisan Nasional he had once led would only cause his achievements and contributions to be forgotten by history.
He said Dr Mahathir is not an ordinary individual, Dr Mahathir has been a former leader of the country and Umno for tens of years and had won recognition in the international arena as an excellent leader of the country. Dr Mahathir’s desire to set up the party had lowered his standard in society, he told reporters when asked about the former prime minister’s announcement yesterday on the setting up of a new party and forming a pact with the DAP, PKR and Amanah.
Dr Subramaniam had earlier launched the 3rd Malaysian Indian Sports Meet at Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, which sees the participation of 1,500 athletes from around the country. In KUALA LUMPUR, Umno Supreme Council member Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the formation of the party would not undermine the strength of BN.
“The people are aware that the development in the country was the effort of the BN government for the well-being of the people. Umno has been accepted by the people for a long time as a party that can develop the country with the other BN component parties,” he told reporters after the Felcra Berhad Aidilfitri open house here today.
Nevertheless, Ismail Sabri said, BN would not take it easy and would prepare its machinery to face the next general election. In KOTA KINABALU, the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) said the proposed new opposition pact was nothing new for a country practising parliamentary democracy like Malaysia.
Upko supremo Datuk Seri Madius Tangau said in a statement the new development was not a surprise in a democratic country as everyone had the right to form their own party of any political affiliation. He said on the other hand, the people are free to judge and choose who they want to become the government and, in this case, the track record of the BN government has already been proven.
He said this when commenting on news reports that PKR, Amanah and DAP were forming a new opposition pact with the proposed new party to fight BN in the next general election. Madius said Dr Mahathir’s decision to form a political party would reduce his standing as a statesman to a mere politician.
The Science, Technology and Innovation Minister said Upko was fully confident that BN, with its impeccable track record, would remain the people’s choice for many more years to come. In KUALA LUMPUR, Umno Veterans Secretary Datuk Mustapha Yaakub said the setting up of the proposed new party could disunite the Malays.
“(Now we have) Umno Malays, PAS Malays, PKR Malays and Amanah Malays. If Dr Mahathir forms a party, then the Malays will be divided into five (factions). The Malays who are now in the majority will become the minority. Tun Mahathir realises this but in politics ‘the end justifies the means’,” he said in a statement.
PAS Youth Chief Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz said the formation of the new party would not undermine PAS. Asked whether PAS would join the proposed new opposition pact, Nik Abduh said it was still too early for PAS to make any decision on that.
Earlier, Nik Abduh and PAS Deputy President Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, along with about 500 people, marched to the Myanmar Embassy in the federal capital to hand over a memorandum protesting against alleged cruelty to the Rohingyas. — Bernama