PONTIAN: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today advised voters in Tanjung Piai not to bring their anger to the ballot box in Saturday’s by-election.
“If you are angry with me now, you can go ahead. But voters should think more of their future before casting their votes.
“Vote for someone who can bring benefits to you,” he told the crowd at Pakatan Harapan’s ceramah here tonight.
Mahathir estimated that 8,000 people came to listen to PH’s ceramah, which he said was “overwhelming”.
Mahathir hoped voters will come out in large numbers on Saturday to cast their votes.
“I also hope those working in Singapore, Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpur can come back to vote as well,” he added.
Tanjung Piai is the ninth by-election under the PH government.
Meanwhile, Mahathir said that he and his Cabinet ministers from five different parties sat down together to discuss any government policy and there was “no war” between them.
“We have five parties (PPBM, DAP, Amanah, PKR, Warisan) in the government to work out plans for our future.
“The implementation may take a bit of time as we do not have sufficient funds,” he said.
Mahathir also said PH hoped the public can give them the full five-year term to implement the policies promised in the election manifesto in GE14.
“This government needs to find solutions to treat past ‘sicknesses’,” he added.
Dr M’s open letter to voters
Earlier, in an open letter to voters, released tonight, Mahathir said one of the priorities of the PH government is to take clear and firm steps to ensure that acts of corruption and power abuse are not committed by the country’s leaders.
With these measures in place, the leaders would have no opportunity to enrich themselves without fearing the punishment awaiting them, Bernama reported him as saying.
“It is true that we cannot always blame the previous government in our efforts to develop the country and ensure the well-being of the rakyat.
“But, at the same time, those who have been following the court cases will realise that the damage caused by corrupt practices and abuse of power almost destroyed the country.”
The PH chairman said apart from focusing on steps to check corruption and power abuse, the government was also making serious efforts to revive the country’s economy.
“Apart from continuing with existing development plans, the government has also introduced short- and long-term strategies, including the Shared Prosperity Vision, which we believe can reduce the income gap among races, districts and regions.
“Such plans may take a bit of time but the people will begin to taste the benefits soon. I believe if the people care to evaluate properly, surely they can see and feel the benefits that come their way, although gradually.”
He said the people also could see that the leaders of the present government and their wives were not living a life of luxury at the people’s expense.
Mahathir also said certain quarters were trying to pit the people against each other, by telling the Malays that the government, although led by Malays, was pawning off everything to the non-Malays.
“When they meet non-Malays, they will instigate them that non-Malay leaders in the government have lost their struggle because they want to look after their own positions. As a result, Malays will feel that their future is not secure under this government.
“At the same time, non-Malays will also feel dissatisfied with the non-Malay government members for allegedly failing to look after their interests. These two things cannot happen at the same time with the same government.”
Mahathir said the government acted on the basis of consensus in making decisions, which means that every interest of the people was considered before a decision was made.
“When we make decisions this way, every race and group will not feel fully satisfied. To me, this is better than one party feeling very satisfied and the other party feeling so unhappy.
“Malaya and Malaysia developed because of the tolerance and spirit of cooperation among leaders who, from before, have been from various races.”
He said this racial politics was being propagated by those who were desperate because they were facing legal action now for the greed and arrogance they displayed when they were in power.
“They do not care if their actions can spark racial clashes because to them, if trouble breaks out, their misdeeds will be overlooked,” he said.
In the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election on Saturday, Mahathir urged voters to choose PH candidate Karmaine Sardini, who he said is the most suitable to continue with the efforts of the former MP, Dr Md Farid Md Rafik, who died on Sept 21 of heart complications.
Karmaine is involved in a six-cornered fight with Barisan Nasional’s Wee Jeck Seng, Gerakan’s Wendy Subramaniam, Berjasa’s Badrulhisham Abdul Aziz, and two independent candidates, Ang Chuan Lock and Faridah Aryani Abd Ghaffar.