PETALING JAYA: The public should not read too much into DAP’s decision not to invite Dr Mahathir Mohamad to its national conference next week, says Tariq Ismail.
The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) supreme council member pointed out that the party had yet to sign an agreement with Pakatan Harapan (PH), a coalition comprising DAP, PKR and Amanah.
DAP was not obliged to invite the two-month-old party to the meeting, said Tariq, who is the grandson of former deputy prime minister Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman.
“It’s no big deal and no offence taken. It’s understandable. As long as PPBM does not sign a pact with PH, we can’t sit on the same table,” he told FMT.
Earlier this month, PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin said the party wished to join PH but wanted more time to work out a common framework first.
Tariq was responding to a commentary by Awang Selamat, a pseudonym for Utusan Malaysia’s group of editors, that DAP’s decision not to invite the former prime minister was a “betrayal” as Mahathir, it argued, had assisted DAP by taking part in the Bersih rally.
The elder statesman, the daily added, had even changed his stand in regard to the secular party.
“We don’t care what Utusan says,” said Tariq.
On Friday, DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke Siew Fook had said Mahathir would not be invited to the DAP national conference next week as PPBM was not yet an official PH component party.
Loke explained that “traditionally” DAP only invited component parties of the coalition to their annual national conference.