PAKATAN Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad today urged the people to trust him if they wanted change in the country.
“If you want me to have the power to make changes, you have to trust me,” he said in a short speech at a Bersatu event in Batang Berjuntai today.
Bersatu’s event today was held in collaboration with Parti Tindakan Hak Minoriti, an independent party that has expressed interested in joining Pakatan. The programme was a meet-the-people session with the Indian community.
The Bersatu chairman was prime minister from 1982 to 2003 and his return to politics by joining the opposition has drawn criticism from activists and critics who want him to account for his role in undermining institutional independence and for clamping down on dissent during his tenure.
Ensuring reforms if Pakatan wins the 14th general election next year is one of the conditions PKR, a Pakatan component party, has placed before Dr Mahathir if he is to be named as the coalition’s interim prime minister candidate.
PKR wants its de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim for prime minister but he is currently serving a jail sentence for sodomy. Anwar also cannot contest in elections for five years after being released unless the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong intervenes.
At Bersatu’s annual general meeting yesterday, Dr Mahathir said Pakatan would restore freedom of speech. He also apologised for past misdeeds, although he was not specific and when pressed later, said it was “customary” for Malays to apologise if others were offended.
Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad with other party leaders in Batang Berjuntai today.