KUCHING: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's new party would not have an impact in the state in the coming general election.
A Supreme Council member of PBB Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah said: "...people are already fed up with Dr Mahathir, who is fighting for something so different from (what he fought for) when he was the prime minister."
"And now he is trying to pretend to be an angel,” added Abdul Karim in reference to the infamous ‘Lalang Operation’.
Abdul Karim was giving his comment to a local english daily recently.
Meanwhile the Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr. James Masing was reported to have similar view on Mahathir.
He regarded the former premier as ‘having lost his charm’.
Masing believed that with the two Borneo states being the fixed deposits for BN, the coalition would continue to triumph in the next general election.
Sarawak, which is the largest state in terms of size, holds 31 parliamentary seats, while Sabah has 25. Both states take up to 25 per cent of the total 222 seats in Parliament.
“With the two states’ consistent delivery of the parliamentary seats, Dr Mahathir would not be able to topple BN government. That is why the BN government should properly look after us,” said Masing, in expressing disappointment over Dr Mahathir’s current attempt of destroying the very party that the former premier himself had created — Umno.
“At one time when he (Dr Mahathir) was fighting Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Tun Dato Musa Hitam, (Prime Minister) Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was helping him. Now, he has turned against Najib. What kind of principle is he upholding?” argued Masing.
The deputy chief minister was commenting on the intention by Dr Mahathir, who is former Umno president, to form a party and later join forces with other opposition parties towards establishing an alliance slated for bringing Najib’s administration down.
Dr Mahathir said this in a press conference on Thursday, which was attended by PKR vice-president Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin, DAP leader Lim Kit Siang, Parti Amanah Negara deputy president Salahuddin Ayub, former Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Bersih 2.0 leader Maria Chin Abdullah.
Concurring with Masing, PBB spokesperson Datuk Idris Buang viewed Dr Mahathir’s formation of a new party or alliance to topple BN government as an act that would go against his own principle.
“This is a desperate move — a hold-up by a group of desperadoes, especially Dr Mahathir who is now working together with the very enemies whom he fought before. This kind of coalition will never work and people can tell,” said Idris.
For Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BNBBC) chairman Abdullah Saidol, he believed that a majority of Malaysians were baffled by Dr Mahathir’s real intention and political direction.
“Like most Malaysians, I still have much respect for the former PM.We once admired his vision and mission of wanting to see this nation becoming well-developed, but now he seems to be going the opposite direction and creating many dubieties.”
On the other hand, Abdullah said Dr Mahathir’s involvement with the opposition could be a ‘blessing in disguise’ — one that might favour BN.
“People who are keen in creating chaos, which is not good for the country, may not be in anyone’s favour.
“BN won convincingly in Sarawak, and also in the two by-elections in Peninsular Malaysia.
“Perhaps Tun Mahathir’s factor might have some political significance in Peninsular Malaysia in facing the PRU (general election), but I don’t think his political influence would have much impact in Sarawak. He didn’t give us much during his time as PM.
“We in Sarawak are more concerned about gaining more development funds from the federal (government) and watching closely on the development of the negotiations concerning the administrative devolution from the federal (government).
“Sarawak may still be the fixed deposit, or perhaps ‘The Saviour’, but that would depend on how the majority of Sarawakians see the level of treatment by the federal government,” he elaborated. -@ybkarimsays