KUALA LUMPUR: Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is standing firmly by his statement that the Malays are still very communal, saying any political party hoping to win the upcoming elections would need their support.
This is the way it has been in the past, when he was leading the country, and is still the truth of today, he said.
“During my time, if you don’t support the Malays, you can’t win. It’s the same now too,” he told reporters when met at a Raya open house here today.
Asked why he didn’t attempt to change this “communal” mindset when he was still leading the government, the 92-year-old said the task wasn’t his alone.
“It was a task for everyone,” he replied briefly.
Mahathir, who is also Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) chairman, had yesterday said that because the Malays were very communal still, his party, PPBM, has to remain a Malay-only party.
Hence, if DAP is deregistered and PH’s efforts to formalise its coalition falls through, then the multiracial party shouldn’t expect to contest under PPBM’s ticket, Mahathir had said.
Meanwhile, in response to Umno minister Salleh Said Keruak who said today that if Umno were to disappear, Malay rights would go along with it, Mahathir said the statement was untrue.
This is because the rights of the Malays are not something that Umno can claim ownership to, he explained.
Like the term suggested, Malay rights belonged to the Malays themselves, and those who supported the race would be the ones that can ensure the continuity of those rights, he added.
“But Umno is no longer supporting (the continuation of Malay rights). They discarded the New Economic Policy, which was meant for the Malays.
“They have replaced it and are now propagating the 1Malaysia (concept).”