MINISTER in the Prime Minister’s Department Shahidan Kassim said Umno has no problem accepting Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s apology for mistakes made during his tenure as prime minister.

“Alhamdulillah… if he admits that he has made a mistake, we can accept but when he has made severe accusations against the ruling government, it is not nice because all of us are not perfect.  

“Similarly, when we want to criticise we must remember whether we had made any mistakes or otherwise… I hope he returns to the beginning and be with the government so that we can become stronger and achieve much more things for the benefit of the people,” he said.

When opening the first general assembly of Bersatu in Shah Alam yesterday, Dr Mahathir had apologised for past errors.

Shahidan, who is also the chairman of the Perlis Umno Liaison Body and a member of the Umno Supreme Council, said this when approached after handing out school paraphernalia under the ‘Felcra Berhad Back To School’ programme at the Tambun Tulang State assemblyman’s service centre, here today.

Felcra contributed 500 bags to children of the B40 group in the Arau parliamentary constituency as part of its Community Service Responsibility (CSR) programme at the ceremony.

Earlier, Felcra Northern Region (Kedah and Perlis) general manager Wan Mokhtar Wan Muda said a total of 1,006 children of the B40 group including children of the staff of the agency received aid in the form of school uniforms, bags, stationery, shoes, stockings and exercise books.

In another development, Shahidan said the opposition’s efforts to get closer to rural folk by giving contributions were not affecting BN or Umno at all.

“Let it be… that is their right to give out a ‘sepak raga’ ball, a bag of rice and some aid. If they don’t come in, how can we fight and see who is stronger in helping and looking after the welfare of the people,” he said.

On Perlis, he said Umno had made long-term plans and was ready to face the 14th general election.

MEANWHILE, according to NST:

Kedah Umno Youth labels Dr M’s apology as ‘cheap political stunt’

ALOR STAR: Kedah Umno Youth today took a swipe at Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for making ‘seditious’ remarks and for offering nothing new for the people in his policy speech at Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM) annual general meeting today.

Its chief Datuk Shaiful Hazizy Zainol Abidin said the PPBM chairman continuously twisted facts with the intention of misleading the people with baseless and half-truth claims against the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

Shaiful claimed that Dr Mahathir’s policy speech reflected PPBM’s lack of clear direction, besides being formed simply to exact personal revenge and practice politics of hate.

He believed the open apology by Dr Mahathir was merely a cheap political stunt.

“His open apology is just an attempt to legalise or to redeem his dictatorship or draconian style of leadership when he was in power.

“The truth is, all the promises he is making now concerning freedom of speech, the separation of power between the executive and judiciary, hail from his sins when he was in power.

“PPBM is clearly using this as its political tool. We urge the people not to be misled by Dr Mahathir’s cheap tears,” he said in a statement today.

From an economic perspective, he said Kedah Umno Youth is unconvinced by the political solution offered by the former prime minister.

He said it was an open-secret that the current BN Federal government is carrying the burden of debts and liabilities from the previous economy of cronyism.

“Dr Mahathir should stop pretending to be the ‘economic hero’ by throwing out populist suggestions which are impossible to be implemented.

“His fantasy of reducing the number of foreign workers from 7 million people to just 2 million to create more job opportunities for locals are vague and unrealistic.”

The wing also questioned PPBM’s move to nominate Dr Mahathir as the interim prime minister should Pakatan Harapan win the 14th General Election (GE14), based on the latter’s experience.

“This is the biggest joke in history, where the youngest party in the opposition pact, which only exists in 137 parliamentary constituencies, is demanding such a huge recognition.

“Kedah Umno Youth wishes to advise PPBM deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir against coming in with this proposal, which will backfire on his own party,” he said.

On rumours that Dr Mahathir could contest either the Langkawi or Kubang Pasu parliamentary seats in Kedah, Shaiful said the wing welcomed the move.

He said the wing is ready to face anyone and confident that the people are wise enough to tell the difference between twisted nostalgia and a proven government which is capable of securing a better future for the nation.

“We believe this a desperate move by PPBM to become relevant, to the extent of gambling on the ability of a 92-year-old to serve the people as an elected representative.”

– Bernama  / NST