This an interview of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad with The Malaysian Reserve in 2013. Part of the interview did not get into the paper’s columns, but remains in our Editor’s ‘carnet’.
The interview was done by Kazi Mahmood who was with Tun Mahathir for an hour at the Petronas Twin Towers.
The picture accompanying the story here today is from the interview and was taken by a TMR photographer.
Among the questions, Dr Mahathir was asked to give his opinion on a possible Umno-PAS alliance.
“We do not want this country to be ruled purely by Malays.”Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2013
In 2013, talks of an alliance between the two parties were rife. The PAS wanted to get out of the Pakatan Harapan.
It was time to ask Dr Mahathir what he thought of any chances of a PAS-Umno union.
AGAINST PAS-UMNO UNION
His views were the Umno and the PAS alone will not have the majority to rule the country.
“This is a good thing because we do not want this country to be ruled purely by Malays,” he said.
He then said Malays are weak in Malaysia, “simply because of the formation of splinter parties like PAS.”
“If not joining up, they should have some kind of cooperation on issues that are of interest to the Malays and the Muslims.
What he meant by cooperation was about the sudden rise of attacks against the Prophet of Islam, an iconic figure for the Muslims.
He thought the Umno and the PAS could collaborate on such issues.
“There should be some cooperation between the two parties at least on issues that pertains to Islam and the position of the Malays,” he said.
He also said the PAS did not take a stand against the people who attacked Islam, and Muslims in Malaysia are split, people will take advantage.
He was asked to comment on a possible government of national unity. This idea was also floating in Malaysia.
THE OTHER CHAP!
Another question was his appeal to the Chinese community to support the MCA. Support for the MCA was dwindling rapidly. The Pakatan Rakyat was absorbing a high percentage of Chinese voters.
This was playing in favour of the Democratic Action Party which was becoming a stronger partner in the PR.
He said, his appeal to the Chinese community was on the basis that Malaysia is run by a ‘kongsi’. Kongsi would mean the concept of sharing.
“We appeal, we told the Chinese this country is run by a ‘kongsi’, a cooperation between the Malays and the Chinese largely and the Indians.
“In this, all the communities get a fair share of the economic pie.
“But if you leave it to the other chap, of course, the other chap will dominate and take almost everything for himself or whatever he can take of course.”Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2013
NATIONAL UNITY GOVT?
The Barisan Nasional was in a weaker position after the big push by the Pakatan Rakyat headed by Anwar Ibrahim.
The PR had won the popular votes but were denied power because they did not win more seats than the BN.
This weakened the Najib Razak regime.
“If people can think about Malaysia and not think about themselves, and about getting power for themselves, I think there can be cooperation.”Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in 2013
“But when you think only for yourself, not for the country, then it is difficult to get cooperation. Then the future outlook of the country will be bleak.
That was all that he said on the question of unity among all parties involved in the political landscape.