SHAH ALAM, Sept 12 ― Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad reminded party members tonight to learn from Umno's “downfall”, and not to repeat their mistakes that lead to the latter's crushing defeat at the polls last year.
Speaking at the party's third anniversary celebration here tonight, Dr Mahathir accused his former party of forgetting its roots of fighting for voters, and had evolved instead into a political platform to only make the elites richer.
“Bit by bit, they have forgotten on the basis of why the party was formed and its struggle. Their struggle is not for the people but to enrich themselves.
“Before they had depend on the spirit of nationhood, the Malay spirit, the spirit of Independence, now there is no spirit but only self-interest,” he told the crowd.
Dr Mahathir spoke to thousands of members who crowded the Shah Alam Independence Square here to celebrate the party's anniversary.
A sea of red had swarmed the makeshift hall at the field holding a dinner, followed by speeches from party vice-president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, and Dr Mahathir.
Dr Mahathir and Bersatu leaders had prior to the event performed prayers and tahlil recitation commemorating the anniversary, joined by PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
In his speech, Dr Mahathir also reminded party members not to repeat the mistakes of Umno and to stay away from money politics, cronyism and adopting the “cash is king” mentality.
He stressed that Pakatan Harapan was borne not out of their own strength but out of the weakness of their opponents.
“Although its not something that we want to hear, we have to admit that they lost because the people have massively rejected them,'' he said.
Dr Mahathir has repeatedly said the Malay nationalist party formed in 1946 had strayed from its original purpose to protect Malay rights starting 2003 — which was when he stepped down as prime minister the first time and lost his qualification as Umno president.
He then formed Bersatu in 2016, before leading Pakatan Harapan to a shock victory at the 14th general election two years later.