May 13, 2007

Tun Dr Mahathir Refutes Allegations That He Is Now Supporting The Opposition

Tun Mahathir is not supporting the opposition parties but instead he is giving constructive criticisms for the benefit of UMNO and strengthening UMNO.

TAIPING, May 13 (Bernama) -- Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has refuted allegations that he is now supporting the opposition.

He said that his criticisms of the Umno and government's leadership were aimed at strengthening Umno so that its members reverted to the party's principles and not blindly support its leaders.

Some quarters in Umno recently alleged that the former prime minister's continued criticism of Umno and government leaders indicated that he was now favouring the opposition parties.

"I am not supporting the opposition, I (just) want to ensure Umno remains strong. Giving support blindly without upholding Umno's principles will eventually make the party become very weak," he told reporters after delivering the keynote address at the Colloqium to Internationalise the Malays organised by Umno Youth's International Relations and Non-Governmental Organisations Bureau here today.

He also said that he was worried that some quarters were claiming that Umno now was much stronger because it won 90 per cent of the seats it contested in the last general as this was a very subjective interpretation.

Earlier, in his address at the function, Dr Mahathir said the rise of a people depended on two factors, the first an untiring quest for knowledge and the second a sense of shame when having done something wrong.

"We see how Japan and Korea have progressed, their peoples work very hard and feel ashamed if something is not done well," he said.

He said based on these factors, the action by some Umno members in willing to give and accept bribes was something deplorable as they had no sense of shame and were willing lower their dignity because of money.

He said the Malays must continue to be steadfast in the noble values handed down through the generations as in "hutang budi dibawa mati" (good deeds follow you to your grave) and "budi yang baik dikenang juga" (the good that one does will be remembered).

"Here we have some people willing to sell their honour for a mere RM200 to give their vote to a leader. This is something that is utterly disgusting," he said.

He added that the scourge of corruption would eventually lead to the destruction of a race and history had proven this as many an empire had fallen because the people did not safeguard their honour.

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