PONTIAN, Nov 14 -- MCA's recent close cooperation with PAS, with UMNO playing the role of the ‘middleman’, is nothing but an insincere and hypocritical charter with the sole purpose of winning the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election, Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.
He said both MCA and PAS leaders’ actions constantly contradicted what they preached, especially when it comes to matters of cooperation between both parties.
“Insincere. Hypocritical. In front (of the Malays) they claim to champion the Malays, when they come here (Tanjung Piai), (they support) the non-Malays… they only think of winning the by-election,” the Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman said after attending a breakfast session with Tanjung Piai non-governmental organisations here today.
Also present were Home Minister and Pakatan Harapan deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Johor Menteri Besar and PH Tanjung Piai parliament by-election machinery director Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal.
The premier was asked on MCA-PAS cooperation, brokered by UMNO and viewed by many as odd as both parties (MCA and PAS) had always been at loggerheads with each other and were never able to see eye to eye on many matters, especially those concerning Islam and the Malays.
This odd coupling became more evident after PAS supported MCA's move to contest in Tanjung Piai and the Chinese-based party's election campaign.
As such, Dr Mahathir said the people and the voters in Tanjung Piai must be wise by recognising PH's struggles for the nation's wellbeing.
“Although there are issues concerning the Chinese, the Malays, the Indians, when we focus on the country's needs, we set these issues aside.
“We look for ways to resolve disputes… when we unite and accept a coalition government, we will prosper,” he said.
The by-election this Saturday will see a six-cornered fight between Karmaine, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng (BN), Wendy Subramaniam (Gerakan), Datuk Dr Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz (Berjasa) and two independent candidates - Dr Ang Chuan Lock and Faridah Aryani Abd Ghaffar.
Asked on BN's allegations that PH were using racial sentiments in the campaign, Dr Mahathir said it was the opposition who were guilty of such actions.
“Ya, they started it (racial sentiments). First, they were going on the Malay Muslim (narrative)… and now when our candidate is Malay Muslim, they want support for their candidate, who is a non-Muslim.
“So, all this (supporting the Malays) is just empty talk from them. In Malaysia, a candidate, an elected representative represents every race. I am not prime minister for only the Malays. I am prime minister for all races in Malaysia,” Dr Mahathir said.
Recently, UMNO Youth Chief Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki was reported to have claimed that PH leaders had resorted to racial issues throughout the by-election campaign.