Jun 19, 2009

Tun Mahathir to PAS: National unity or Malay unity?

The former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Mahathir wants PAS to clarify whether the unity talk with UMNO is for National unity or Malay unity.

KUALA LUMPUR: PAS must clarify whether it wants to form a unity government with Umno or with the entire Barisan Nasional coalition, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“If the party joins forces with Umno, this would result in a Malay-dominated government. But we have always insisted that this country is for all communities,” he told reporters after opening the 11th International Surveyors’ Congress here yesterday.

“So, this move may unite the Malays, but it will not promote greater unity among Malaysians,” said Dr Mahathir.

He said he believed the current Barisan system was the best type of administration for the country.

On PAS insisting that its Pakatan Rakyat allies DAP and PKR be part of the proposed unity government, Dr Mahathir said Umno would also have to include MCA, MIC and other Barisan component parties in the deal.

“These (the component parties) are our friends. We cannot abandon them.”

Dr Mahathir, however, said he believed the country needed an opposition voice to provide checks and balance on the Govern ment.

“Without the opposition, we may not know what we are doing wrong. This is something we should uphold. We should not have a one-party state like certain countries.”

Asked whether he thought the current opposition was strong enough to point out the Government’s mistakes, Dr Mahathir said: “No, they are not a very intelligent Oppo sition.

“They should criticise when the Government really does something wrong. Criticising for the sake of being the Opposition is not very healthy.”

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