The decision to name Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the opposition’s prime minister candidate is only to draw Malay votes in rural areas but won’t help Malaysia’s long-term struggles towards reform, a forum heard yesterday.
Panellists at the forum said Pakatan Harapan should prioritise reforms badly needed in Malaysia and not whether the former prime minister is the solution.
“We are not offered options … we are only given Pepsi and Coca-Cola.
“You force people to accept Dr Mahathir. Did you discuss with the people? What is happening now shows that there is no difference between PH and Barisan Nasional,” former PKR member Badrul Hisham Saharin, or better known as Chegubard, said at the Kuala Lumpur Chinese Assembly Hall last night.
PH previously presented itself as a viable alternative to BN but its recent decision to name Dr Mahathir showed its true colour.
“You haven’t got power yet, but you have already indoctrinated the people. And recently Dr Mahathir said toll rates here are cheap and no one objects,” he said, commenting on Dr Mahathir’s remark that toll charges in Malaysia were cheaper than many other countries.
In a Facebook Live held on January 10, he said toll charges covered the cost of road maintenance and building highways. [...]
The announcement drew derision from Barisan Nasional and even from some sections in PH.
Activist Haris Ibrahim said Dr Mahathir’s appointment as prime minister if the opposition pact captures Putrajaya will only cause problems.
“If Dr Mahathir really wants to bring down Umno and BN, we welcome him. But problems will arise when he is appointed as the future prime minister,” he said.
“Use Dr Mahathir but tell us the truth. Don’t say Malay poverty will end if PH wins. Don’t only talk about 1MDB and say PH will protect Malay rights. It’s same like Umno and BN.”
Malay Mail Online editor Fathi Aris Omar said Dr Mahathir had a bad record in upholding democracy during his tenure as prime minister, as freedom of speech eroded during his era.
Dr Mahathir was the father of kleptocracy who gave birth to today’s kleptocrat, he said.