Jun 10, 2009

Tun Mahathir says Opposition necessary as reflection of government

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says that the country needs an opposition that can hold up a mirror to the government.

SHAH ALAM, June 9 – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the opposition was necessary as a reflection of the government.

“It’s not healthy to have a one-party state. We need to have the opposition. Otherwise, we won’t have a ‘mirror’ to see whether we look good or not,” he said at a news conference, here, today.

He was asked to comment on the proposal made by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang at the party’s 55th general assembly last week on the setting up of a unity government between PAS and Umno.

Dr Mahathir said the unity government proposal was also not clear, whether it was to be between PAS and Umno or between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat.

“If unity is just among Malays, Chinese with Chinese, and Indians with Indians, we’ll be divided into three groups. I don’t know... but it’s not my problem, I’m already retired.

“In those days when we formed BN, we invited all parties to join, except DAP. PAS also joined BN but later split from the coalition as it used its power in government to strengthen the party and not BN,” he said.

Asked how a unity government could benefit the country, Dr Mahathir said it would only bring good if both sides were sincere about doing it in the interest of the nation.

“But it’s sometimes difficult for politicians to be sincere. I’m also a politician, you know,” he said, smiling. – Bernama

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