Dr Mahathir says will quit Pejuang if given chance to manage Covid crisis
PEJUANG chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said he will quit the party he founded if the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government gives him a role to play in the national recovery plan to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.
“If I’m involved, I will resign from Pejuang to give my full effort towards resolving the Covid-19 problem,” the 96-year-old told stand-up comedian Harith Iskandar on his talk show tonight.
“Pejuang can carry on as it has its goals and this can be carried out by other members,” said the former prime minister.
Dr Mahathir was responding to a question on how the newly registered Pejuang is different from other Malay parties.
“Only then, we can concentrate on solving problems without politics,” said the Langkawi MP.
Earlier, he dismissed suggestions that Pejuang was registered in a deal with Perikatan Nasional.
He said Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz had wanted to meet him because the former prime minister and the government had similar ideas for recovery.
“I have suggested a special committee for recovery and at the same time, the government has its National Recovery Committee, which is headed by Tengku Zahrul,” he said.
“After that, he called me to ask for my ideas and how I planned to curb the rising number of new Covid-19 infections.
“I said some things on how to handle the SOP (standard operating procedure) and vaccination programme, which I hope he will carry out.”
When pressed if there were offers from PN, Dr Mahathir replied: “No. He only gave me a very nice Quran.
“There was no invitation to join his committee. He only asked me what I would do. I think he wants to do it without me.”
Dr Mahathir said the government has failed to control the pandemic as it is “inexperienced in a crisis”.
“There’s also too much politicking and people are justifiably angry as the number of infections continue to rise,” he said.
“They obviously have a plan, but don’t seem to know how to execute it.”
He said the politicking has worsened the situation and resulted in a lack of coordination.
“To tackle such a crisis, you need experience, but this government is made up of people who have no experience in governing, particularly during a crisis,” he said.
During the one-and-a-half-hour show, Dr Mahathir also told why he believes race politics is still relevant in Malaysia and why he resigned in February last year.
“There are many multiracial countries, but they only have one nationality. US president Dwight Eisenhower is a German, but led America to fight Germany,” he said.
“Malaysians don’t want to have a single national identity because we want to retain our origins and relationship to where our parents come from.
“So there are still schools using their own languages. And at home, we don’t speak the Malaysian language but use our mother tongue.” – THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT
Dr Mahathir: In majority Malay areas, Chinese and Indian voters are the kingmakers in elections
KUALA LUMPUR — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad opined that it is not Malays who are the kingmakers during an election in areas where they are the majority, but Chinese and Indians, Sinar Harian reported.
The Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) chairman said that the said situation had happened in 1969, when he contested against a PAS candidate, in a predominantly Malay area.
“At that time, the area had 35,000 voters and the ones who contested there were a PAS candidate and I.
“Rightfully, I should have won because the Malays supported me, but the Malays there were split down the middle. Half to PAS, half to me but the ones who decided the winner were the Chinese. The Chinese at that time did not like me, so they gave their votes to PAS,” he was reported as saying in the What’s Going On Malaysia online show hosted by comedian Harith Iskander.
“It is the rest who decide, and at the next election, it will be like that too. Due to Malays fighting among themselves, it is the Indians and Chinese that will decide who will win,” he added. – MALAY MAIL
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT / MALAY MAIL