Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) adviser Kua Kia Soong predicts that the majority of Malays will support PAS as opposed to Pakatan Harapan come the next general election (GE14).
He was commenting on the new Pakatan Harapan leadership line-up announced on Thursday night, which included former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad as chairman.
Speaking at the launching of his book “Malaysia’s 14th General Elections: The Big Issues” at Gerakbudaya here today, Kua said Pakatan Harapan had made a “mistake” in believing that Mahathir would be able to attract the Malay vote.
“Do they really see Mahathir winning Malay votes rather than PAS? I am willing to bet anyone 20 sen that the Malays will go with PAS instead,” he said, possibly alluding to the fact that Umno will benefit from this as it has forged closer ties with the Islamist party.
He claimed that many had still not forgiven Mahathir over numerous alleged scandals he was supposedly involved in during his long tenure as prime minister.
“Embracing Mahathir is a serious mistake. He was an autocrat from 1981 all the way through to 2003. All the scandals he was involved in, including crony capitalists, the Bumiputera Malaysia Finance Ltd (BMF) scandal and the Bank Negara forex scandal.
“He doesn’t even say sorry over what he has said about Anwar Ibrahim. He’s not sorry about anything he’s done in the past.”
Kua compared last November’s Bersih 5 rally which Mahathir had attended to previous rallies which PAS had attended and said this lent legitimacy to his claim.
Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong feels Pakatan Harapan is wrong to rely on former prime minister, whom he says could not even save his son in Kedah.
“Mahathir brought about 12 people to Bersih 5. How many did PAS bring in past rallies?”
He also claimed Mahathir had failed to stop his son Mukhriz Mahathir from losing his position as Kedah MB and questioned how Pakatan Harapan thought its new chairman could “save” them now.
“He can’t even protect his son in Kedah and yet somehow the people in Pakatan Harpan think he’s going to be able to help them.”
Kua, who was imprisoned without trial for 445 days after being detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in the infamous Operasi Lalang crackdown in 1987, said that because the majority of Malays were still for PAS, it would be wise for Pakatan Harapan not to be critical of its leaders.
“If you’re rude to PAS leaders, what do you think the Malays in the kampung are going to think of you? If you disagree with them, then leave it at that.”
Kua’s latest book discusses several issues including aborigines rights, women’s rights, defence cuts, sustainable development and progressive tax among others.
When asked whether Pakatan Harapan or Barisan Nasional would take into consideration some of the proposals in his book, Kua said he doubted it.
“I don’t know if they’re capable of raising big issues. If you’re relying on big corporations for political funding, for example, it’s going to be hard to be for progressive taxation.”