PENANG (March 30, 2008): It will be impossible for Barisan Nasional (BN) to wrest back the five states which it lost to the opposition in the general election, says former prime minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad.
Mahathir said those who voted for the opposition were no longer interested in the BN and would not return to the party.
"If the opposition governments succeed in governing these states well, even the Malays will be attracted and turn their backs on the BN."Even Umno members during this elections secretly voted for the opposition, not because they loved the opposition but for the love of the party (Umno).
"They wanted to send a warning to the party leadership but unfortunately the leadership is still in a slumber and in denial about the losses.
"Not only has Umno been destroyed, but also MCA, MIC, Gerakan and even BN," Mahathir said in his speech when officiating at the Persatuan Melayu Tanjung (Permata) annual general meeting in a hotel here today.
The former prime minister was in his element, raising laughter among those present though his speech was laced with hard hitting comments on the present government leadership.
Mahathir said when the opposition won in the many states, police warned that there should not be any celebrations or rallies but practised double standards when it came to Umno members.
"When Lim Guan Eng spoke about the NEP, all he said was he wanted to abolish the corruption as a result of NEP and there were people who demonstrated."Police did not do anything about the demonstrators and they too practiced double standards," Mahathir added.
He reiterated his call to Umno members to speak out if they loved the party and wanted the party to remain relevant in years to come. For 450 years we were ruled by outsiders and we still refused to speak out or retaliate.
"Now the Malays are so scared to voice out their opinion and have been reduced to saying 'yes sir' to the party leadership. If we continue to be like this, we will forever be under the rule of someone or other and never be freed from our shackles of colonialism until the end of time.
"The future of Umno is in your hands, if you remain scared to speak out, there is no future for Umno if those who are elected are those singled out by the party leadership," he added.
When asked if he thought former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim could one day become Malaysia's premier, Mahathir said it would spell doom for the country.
"He seems to be a man of many parts, changing his tune to different audiences. He is only fit to be the Prime Minister of the Israel and he will destroy the country if he is made Prime Minister as he will allow interference by other countries into our affairs," Mahathir said.
Mahathir was also asked to comment on Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's statement that the 30% quota system for nomination for party elections was introduced by Mahathir to protect his own presidency.
Mahathir has asked for the 30% party support rule to be abolished.
"When we introduced it, it was done to allow only those who had substantial support from party members to contest and not for anyone to do so at their whim and fancy.
"It was not difficult for me to garner that support then and I welcomed those who wanted to challenge me even Razaleigh (Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah) and even someone who is now Prime Minister (Abdullah).
"I never gave out instructions that none should stand against me but you see what happened to Razaleigh when he wanted to challenge Abdullah in 2004?
"He only obtained one vote from his division because the others were threatened not to support him. Even in 2004, Khairy Jamaluddin won uncontested. I know for a fact that people who wanted to stand against him were threatened and hauled up by Youth Chief (Datuk Seri) Hishamuddin (Hussein) to stay away.
"What is this? If he was a shining and outstanding example we can accept but undue pressure was put on Umno members not to contest against him," he added.He said though there were those within Umno who would make a better president and said they must have advisers chosen via the council and not their own family members. – The Sun