PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad last night questioned why he was being singled out and labelled a traitor for working with the opposition to win power when past Umno leaders have done the same.
Speaking at a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) ceramah in Pasir Gudang, Johor, last night, Mahathir pointed out the founder of Umno, Onn Jaafar, and first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, had also worked with the opposition to win power.
“I don’t remember Tunku being called a traitor, but Najib is accusing me of that,” Mahathir, the longest serving Umno president, told the ceramah.
His speech last night was uploaded in the Kelab Che Det Facebook.
At the recently concluded Umno general assembly, Najib had repeatedly called Mahathir, now chairman of PPBM , a traitor for working with the DAP, a Chinese dominant party.
He said Onn Jaafar left Umno and formed Parti Negara and the Independence of Malaya Party to challenge the Alliance coalition, while Tunku, also a former Umno president, worked with the opposition in the 1990 general election.
“He also worked with the DAP but I did not label him a traitor,” said Dr Mahathir as he showed a newspaper clipping and photograph of the late Karpal Singh and Lim Kit Siang with Tunku.
He said even former Semangat 46 president Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah worked with the DAP and PAS after the old Umno was declared unlawful and a new party was formed in 1988.
Mahathir said even his former deputy prime minister and party deputy president Musa Hitam had refused to join the new Umno.
“I had to give him a ministerial position and sent him to the United Nations as our special envoy,” he said, adding that was how he treated “traitors”.
Mahathir said it was a fallacy that Malays would lose power if the Umno-led Barisan Nasional was defeated in the general election and a Chinese would become the prime minister.
“The Chinese are a minority unless Umno wants to give away the position,” he added.
He said PPBM was also there to champion the cause of Malays although it allowed non-Malays to join as associate members.
“It is Najib and Umno who are traitors to the Malays,” he said, adding that PPBM was capable of being the substitute to Umno. – FMT