SHAH ALAM – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should not be too confident that new-kid-on-the-block Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) would be able to defeat Pas, which is a decades-old party, said a Selangor Pas assemblyman. Meru assemblyman Dr Abdul Rani Osman said it goes without saying that Pas has more experience in the political arena than PPBM, and it is strong not only in states such as Kelantan and Terengganu, but also Selangor.

“I do not agree with what Dr Mahathir has said. In Selangor back in 2008, no one predicted that the then-Barisan Nasional government would fall in the 13th general election. The win for Pakatan was historic because the Chinese community had voted for Pas.

This showed that Pas is a party for all races. We are not focused on the Malays only because if that were so, why would we contest in a Chinese majority area? “I feel that there is no point in trying to (determine) which party is stronger, who wants to be the prime minister or deputy prime minister.

We should focus on our services to the rakyat and walk the walk. There is no doubt that PPBM has influence, but how far (can) it go, that will be determined in the general election,” Dr Rani told the New Straits Times yesterday.

Dr Rani added that Tun Mahathir’s statement does not reflect PPBM’s view and is merely his personal opinion. Such a statement, if it is truly reflective of PPBM’s stance, should come from its president, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin himself.

However, Dr Rani said there seems to be a clash between Dr Mahathir’s statements and the words of Muhyiddin, who has said he is confident that he can convince Pas to join PPBM and take on Barisan Nasional. Dr Rani further suggested that Tun Mahathir stop talking negatively about Pas, because at the end of the day, the opposition bloc shares a common mission to defeat BN. “Dr Mahathir needs to control what he says and not (strain) the political ties between the opposition parties.

Do not talk about Pas like that and (don’t) get angry if people resent (you) and retaliate because of (your) statements. The consequences of what he had said may not be (obvious) now, (but) the impact could be felt in the future,” said Dr Rani. Meanwhile, Selangor Pas deputy information chief Roslan Shahir said he believes the statement by Tun Mahathir was made in his personal capacity and does not represent the view of PPBM. “Pas is always open and willing to forge political cooperation with any party that respects its principles and struggle.

PPBM itself had initiated several rounds of talks with Pas, and both parties seemed to respond positively. Pas knows very well its strength and abilities and will forge ahead to prepare itself for the coming general election despite whatever Dr Mahathir has to say,” Roslan said.