TUN Dr Mahathir’s ‘invitation’ for Umno members to join Bersatu sounds desperate. If he is not, he wouldn’t have made that call. Intriguing, with a lot of pros and cons.

In Ipoh on Sunday, Umno president Zahid Hamidi avowed loudly that Umno will not succumbed to such situation and there is no way for Umno to be dissolved. Umno, with 3.5 million members is much bigger than Bersatu, and the move must be vice versa instead.
Many leaders, including an Umno MP described it as ‘positive’ while others are adamant that it is Bersatu that must be disbanded and all of its members should join Umno. If you talk about Malay unity, and if Dr M is sincere, why start with Umno and not PKR and Amanah?
Let PKR and Amanah be dissolved first if the Malays are to be united. Why Umno?
And this Umno MP – seen by many as waiting the right time to jump ship although he had said many times that he will stay on with Umno – was not seen as talking on behalf of the party but rather for himself. Trying to be different, maybe but his direction is drifting away from the majority. Perhaps the voice of ‘minority rules’ is part of his political agenda.
But why now? Only after Umno and Barisan Nasional lost the 14th general election, the issue of Malay unity is brought up? Why not before DAP became the main vocal for the Cabinet?
All this doesn’t make sense. Dr M sincerity should be put on doubt. After tormenting the Malay unity with the formation of Semangat 46 on June 3, 1989 and PKR on April 4, 1999, Dr M should realise then that it was the beginning of Malay segmentation in Malaysia.
With Tengku Razaleigh defeat for presidency and Umno declared illegal in 1988, he should be seen as a savior during that time but he chose to be on the sideline. After his deputy, Anwar Ibrahim’ sacking, also in 1998 over accusation of power abuse – which saw him sent to jail – Dr M simply failed to calculate the political scenario years on.
All this happened during his time, and he himself was at the center of it. His main rival then was DAP, which share the same bed with him now.
Will Anwar Ibrahim and Mohamad Sabu willing to dissolve their respective party now and usher their members to join Bersatu? These two strongly support Dr M’s call. Why didn’t they do it first?
Maybe the pressure is mounting on Dr M, especially after realising how the Malays have lost their political grip to the DAP Chinese. Economic wise, they are nowhere to be seen in the Chinese-dominated turf.
So, what’s next for Dr M?
Will he consider dissolving the tiny Bersatu and re-join Umno? Will Umno members accept them? After all, Bersatu is established by former Umno disgruntled members!
As Zahid puts it, no way that Umno will fall into Dr M’s political trap. Umno is coming on stronger after GE14 and with new political collaboration with Islamic party Pas, they are forming a new formidable team.
As for now, Dr M can forget his Malay Unity concept. Let’s Umno and Pas start it. After all, his calls was not ‘very sincere’ as it contains elements of vested-interest for Bersatu.
He took too long to realise the damage that he has done. Its up to the Malays to mend the patches again. And may he rules for another 22 years!

PH cannot accept new component parties: Mahathir

PUTRAJAYA: Pakatan Harapan (PH) cannot accept new component parties because this will bring problems when choosing candidates for the general election, said its chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

However, the Prime Minister said members of other parties could join any party that is already in the PH namely Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), DAP and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah).

“Everybody wants to be a candidate. We don’t have too many constituencies, so if they want to come into the existing parties, its okay,“ he said at a media conference after chairing the PH Presidential Council meeting, here today.

In addition, he said all the four component parties of PH had no problem in maintaining their inter-party relations.

Mahathir said his invitation to Malay party members to join Bersatu was not because of racial sentiments, on the other hand, he wanted the Malays to be united under the existing parties compared to forming other parties.

“Actually I explain that the Malays do not know how to play politics, they are happy merely to become the president. When they are happy, they form a party, soon there will be more parties so eventually the Malays will have no power at all. They are all small parties.

Mahathir said it was enough that there were four existing Malay parties namely Umno, PAS, Bersatu and Amanah that they could join.

“If you want to join Umno, you join la. You want to join PAS, you can join but there is no need to form any more new party, there are many already,“ he said.

Asked on the statement by Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who rejected his invitation that the Malays join Bersatu, he replied: “Of Course the president rejected, the others join. Even if the (Umno) president wants to join, we will not allow it.

He said in jest when asked on the report that he would be attacked by PH leaders at the meeting today following his invitation: “My colleagues did not find me guilty and did not cane me just now.

Mahathir also said there was no problem in the cooperation between the four PH component parties although there might be problems in their respective parties.

According to him, the Cabinet members now comprised all the PH component parties and also participated by Parti Warisan Sabah although the party did not join PH.

“So far, these five parties could make decisions in the Cabinet, we don’t throw bottles at each other, nor hit other people, this only happens in other countries. In Malaysia, we are very polite. Generally, the Cabinet is able to function and that is a plus.”

PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who was also present at the media conference, was asked on the fear by analysts on the continuation of government policies after taking over the post of prime minister.

When Anwar replied briefly “Tun (Dr Mahathir) is acting based on PH’s policy and I’m the PH member”, it invited a reaction from Mahathir who said jokingly : “PH member must follow the leader. If he does not follow, we will wallop him.”

Meanwhile, Mahathir said the meeting also agreed that a committee be formed to study how the government would implement the pledges in the PH manifesto in the 14th General Election that had yet to be implemented.

“We have actually implemented many of our pledges but we do not know how to promote or inform the people on our successes not only according to the manifesto but also those not pledged in the manifesto,“ he said.

In addition, Mahathir said the meeting also agreed that the involvement of civil servants in politics would be reviewed.

“The civil service is a professional service, if it is tied to some political parties, then it cannot perform well. They should be neutral, so this factor will be studied as to whether anyone of them can join (any political party),“ he said.

Meanwhile, Mahathir said the PH would hold the Harapan Rakyat carnival in every state without stating further details on the carnival.

– Bernama