PUTRAJAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he was “not quite satisfied” with PPBM, especially when it came to the number of members in the party, which is over two years old.
Admitting that the membership is “not very big,” the PPBM chairman pinned the blame on bad practices such as division chiefs restricting the number of members out of fear that they might be displaced.
Mahathir said that for such individuals, a smaller party was better than a big one.
“So, we have fewer members and because of this, when there is a by-election, we don’t have personnel and we need to source them from other places,” he said in an interview to commemorate Pakatan Harapan’s first anniversary in power.
FMT is trying to confirm the current number of PPBM members.
In April, the party spread its wings to Sabah, which saw 127,000 people register as members.
Mahathir went on to say that he has witnessed how the political culture of the Malays has changed in the past 70 years.
He said that when Umno was first set up, people would dole out their own money and would never ask for anything in return, be it getting paid or demanding for positions in the party.
“In fact, there were so many people that when I suggested they should become a candidate, they would tell me ‘no, no, give it to others. I am not qualified’.”
Such gestures, he lamented, do not happen now.
“Now even if you pass Primary One, you think you are qualified to become the prime minister.”
He said this culture not only affects PPBM but other Malay parties as well.
On Merdeka Centre’s recent survey
The prime minister again addressed the recent poll by Merdeka Centre,which revealed that his approval rating has plunged to 46%, while only 39% of Malaysians gave a positive rating to the PH government.
But Mahathir – who previously said he was unfazed by the findings – said the independent polling firm did not even think the coalition would win, referring to a survey conducted before the May 9 polls which predicted that Barisan Nasional would retain power.
He said Merdeka Centre did not ask the entire nation and based its findings on a “sample of people”.
He said this is why he would not know if the figures cited in the survey were accurate.
“But what I do know is that people are not shooting at me or taking potshots at me, except for the press,” he said, adding that he appreciated it when people pointed out his mistakes so he could correct himself.
Mahathir also said while there are those who are wholeheartedly against him till the point they wish him dead, there are those who are friendly.
“They shake my hands, smile and tell me they love me,” he added.