PM: Umno-PAS unity ‘very bad’ for multiracial Malaysia

Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is pictured after the opening of the second session of the 14th Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is pictured after the opening of the second session of the 14th Parliament in Kuala Lumpur March 11, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 — The idea of an Umno-PAS coalition is “very bad’ for a plural society like Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today even as he noted the wave of support from the Malay community.

The prime minister pointed out that his Pakataan Harapan (PH) coalition is also looking after the interest of the Malays, but stressed that it was not at the expense of the other races.

“We are also looking after the interest of the Malays, except we don’t shout. They try to separate Malays from other races, that is very bad for a multiracial country. The interest of the Malays will be looked after by PH. We want to make sure that it is not only equal but fair.

“Our relation must be fair and equal, not just equal without fairness. So we will look after the interests of the Malays and we have stated that we want equitable share in the wealth of this country,” he told reporters in Parliament.

Once enemies, Umno and PAS recently announced their political “marriage” as an Opposition bloc after the landmark GE14 that catapulted PH into the seat of federal power.

Acting Umno president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan also said his party has prepared a proposal to form a unity government in the four states they control: Perlis and Pahang for Umno, and PAS-held Kelantan and Terengganu.

Dr Mahathir said the two federal Opposition parties can collaborate as they like as Malaysia is a “free country”.

“If they want to unite, let them unite. If they want to marry, let them marry. We live in a free country, if they want to marry men... well, that’s not allowed yet. They can marry others,” the world’s oldest elected leader quipped.

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