Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has once again come to the defence of the DAP in a bid to undo his open admission of decades-long demonisation of the party.
Mahathir, who is now Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairperson and an ally of DAP, has had to deflect claims of joining forces with an “anti-Malay” party, the perception which he had engineered while he was prime minister for 22 years until 2003.
“Actually, it was me who demonised the DAP. In politics, if you want to defeat your enemy, you have to sully their image.
“DAP was an enemy of my party and me (at that time). My approach was effective even though they too demonised me.
“As a result from me and my (then) colleagues demonisation of the DAP, Malays were not able to accept DAP or anyone who allied with them,” he said in a blog posting today.
Mahathir noted that today, he too was being branded a traitor for working with DAP.
“I would not do so (work with DAP) if DAP was really a demon.
“Before me, there were also many Malay leaders who worked with and even supported the DAP.
“Among them were Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. Anwar Ibrahim too worked with Lim Kit Siang and DAP,” he said.
Mahathir said the reality was that Malaysia is a multi-racial country and only a multi-ethnic coalition could win the general election. The same applied to MCA in BN.
However, Mahathir argued that DAP was “better” than MCA.
“DAP is not a Chinese party. Unlike MCA, it is open to all races. Its leadership and even its elected representatives are not all Chinese like in MCA.
There are also Malay and Indian elected representatives in DAP. As a multi-racial party, DAP cannot use Chinese like MCA. DAP uses the national language in their meetings.
“Chinese elected representatives in DAP can speak the national language better than MCA representatives,” he said.
Mahathir stressed that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s warning that DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang would become prime minister if Pakatan Harapan won the general election was only a ruse.
“DAP will not be able to control more than 50 seats in the Dewan Rakyat because the number of Chinese seats is limited. Now, DAP only has 35 MPs and not all are Chinese.
“If Harapan wins, DAP cannot demand the prime minister position for its party and it is impossible for Lim to become prime minister,” he said.
He added that Lim had publicly stated that he had no ambitions to become prime minister.
Mahathir said Malays should instead focus on Najib’s policies instead of the fearmongering.
“Believe it that if Najib wins, the Malays will suffer because Najib’s policy will be only geared towards maintaining himself as prime minister.
“Even now, Malays are already feeling the pressure,” he said.