PONTIAN, Nov 14 — Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Barisan Nasional (BN) of today was a phantom of what it had been before the general election.
He then asked why the coalition was even using its traditional logo for the Tanjung Piai by-election.
“BN doesn’t exist anymore. It is now merely a shadow of itself.
“There is nothing left in BN any more. MCA are left half dead, MIC is not represented, while there is only a quarter of Umno members left in the party,” Dr Mahathir said today.
He said this after having breakfast with some 200 non-governmental organisations (NGO) members and supporters at Warung 800 in Pekan Nanas here today.
Dr Mahathir, who is also Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairman and prime minister, was accompanied by his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali and other Bersatu leaders including the party’s president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Sahruddin Jamal.
Dr Mahathir said BN was trying to portray a unified front in order to convince the public that it still existed.
He said that as BN’s former leader, it had been difficult for him to leave the coalition but he ultimately decided to do so and form Bersatu as BN had strayed from its path and no longer championed the people’s cause.
BN had as many as 13 members at its peak but all except the three founding parties abandoned it after last year’s general election defeat.
Former BN component Gerakan is also contesting in the by-election.
Dr Mahathir then rejected attempts to portray him as still the leader of BN.
“There are some who still remember me as Umno president, I am now the PH chairman and I was chosen to be the prime minister,” he said.
The Tanjung Piai by-election will see a six-way contest between PH’s Karmaine Sardini, BN’s Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng, Gerakan’s Wendy Subramaniam, Berjasa’s Datuk Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz, and two independent candidates Ang Chuan Lock and Faridah Aryani Abdul Ghaffar.