KUALA LUMPUR: Former law minister Zaid Ibrahim has given credit to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman Mahathir Mohamad for bringing “a new dynamic” to the opposition.
Zaid said he expected Malays to come out in droves to support Pakatan Harapan because of Mahathir’s presence in the coalition.
He said the former prime minister, unlike many former Barisan Nasional leaders who joined the opposition after losing their seats or being booted out of their parties, had done so because he chose to.
“Mahathir, by willingly standing with the opposition, has given credence to the opposition and comfort to those who were wary of the opposition.
“And he’s not doing it for fun or glory. He’s doing it because he thinks the opposition is strong enough. With that, Mahathir has brought a new strength and a new dynamic to our fight.”
He claimed that the Malays were moving to Pakatan’s side in great numbers because of Mahathir.
“This is the first time we’re going to see the main support for the opposition coming from the Malays,” he said.
“With Amanah, PPBM and PKR coming together, the Malays will be the ones to determine the outcome” of the coming general election.
Mahathir had led Umno for more than 22 years before deciding to take the back seat. The 92-year-old eventually left the party last year, saying that it had become a party that focused solely on protecting Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Soon afterwards, he announced the formation of PPBM, which became Pakatan’s fourth component party last March.
“A lot of people in the past viewed the opposition as having a fractious leadership,” Zaid said. “But with Mahathir’s presence, we now have a serious prime minister material, if he wants it.
“Even if he doesn’t want to be prime minister, he knows who can take up that position because he has gone through it all. He has the credibility to decide.”