JOHOR BAHRU: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has promised to go back to the very basic principle of democracy, which is that the government will be working for the people, if Pakatan Harapan (PH) is given the mandate to rule the country.
Speaking to a crowd of around 1,600 people at a fundraising dinner in Gelang Patah here last night, Mahathir said all PH component parties will work together for the people, instead of having the latter work for them.
“You will have a prime minister who will work as our worker, who will work for us, and who is indebted to us.
“We will make sure our country is well governed, by a government that pays attention to what the people really need.
“Now the whole government is working only for (Prime Minister) Najib (Razak),” said the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PBBM) chairman.
Last year, Mahathir quit Umno, the party he led for over 22 years, and later helped form PPBM, saying at the time that Umno had lost its way from its original struggles.
He admitted, however, that his decision to work alongside his former enemies had not been welcomed by some quarters.
“There are some Malays who are angry at me for sitting next to (DAP veteran) Lim Kit Siang. But there are also some Chinese who slam Lim for sitting next to me.
“So, either way, we are going to be wrong. For the Chinese, Lim has betrayed them, for the Malays, I have betrayed them.
“But actually we are not betraying anybody, we are for Malaysia. This is our country and because we love our country, we should make sure that this country is well governed,” he said to loud cheers from the crowd.
Mahathir also reminded the attendees that Malaysia was unique in the sense that it was one of the only few multiracial countries which had succeeded in ensuring peace and harmony.
It was for this reason that everyone should remember no single race, be it the Malays, the Chinese, or the Indians among others, could rule the country by themselves, he said.
“So we must share in the governance of this country.
“And I have explained in my blog that DAP is not a Chinese chauvinist party. It is a multiracial party that is open to all races. I also noticed that DAP is much more Malaysian than any other government party.
“That is why I now work with DAP, because I feel comfortable with DAP.”
Together under the Pakatan Harapan banner, the opposition is stronger, he added, before calling for the public to support whoever the opposition coalition fields as a candidate in the next general election, regardless of their race or the party they are representing.
“By helping each other, we will win the election. And looking at the crowd tonight, I’m sure you all want to support DAP.
“But DAP is in Pakatan, so in a way, you all are already supporting Pakatan. And by itself, neither one of the opposition parties can win enough votes to form the government.
“But together, all these four parties (in Pakatan Harapan) can obtain enough votes to achieve this goal.”
The 92-year-old also promised that if Pakatan makes it to Putrajaya, it will uphold the rule of law, and the public will enjoy the freedoms and the rights accorded to them by the Federal Constitution.
Also present at the dinner, were Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, and DAP’s latest high-profile recruit Zaid Ibrahim.