Dr M: PPBM is race-based because that’s the Malaysian reality

Dr Mahathir Mohamad greets the crowd as he and his wife Dr Siti Hasmah Ali are taken on a buggy car at Stadium Malawati, Shah Alam.

SHAH ALAM: PPBM today marked the second anniversary of its formation, with chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad defending the party’s race-based identity as realistic.

Speaking to party members gathered at the Malawati indoor stadium here, the prime minister said Malaysians were still split along racial lines.

He said despite some criticising the party’s racial outlook, the reality is that political parties still choose candidates from among the majority race of the constituencies they contest.

“All political parties do this. We have not reached a stage where race is not a factor,” he told some 1,000 PPBM members and supporters, as well as leaders from other Pakatan Harapan parties, including PKR deputy president Mohamad Azmin Ali, DAP chairman Tan Kok Wai and Warisan president Shafie Apdal.

Mahathir said Malays were still uneasy to be represented by a non-Malay, and as such, political parties were careful in selecting who to represent.

“We are tied to race. Maybe one day it won’t be a factor. Right now, it is.”

Meanwhile, PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin, who did not attend the event tonight due to his poor health, thanked Mahathir for his understanding.

“Insha Allah, I will overcome this adversity,” he said in a video speech.

Muhyiddin is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatment following an operation in Singapore.