Former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today set strict conditions if his yet-to-be-registered Parti Pejuang Tanah Air is forced to cooperate with Umno, reiterating that he will not work with leaders with on-going court cases.
He said this when asked about the possibility of Umno returning to power in the 15th general election (GE15) and Pejuang, being a small party, having little choice but to cooperate with the largest Malay-based party.
He was also asked during an interview with BFM radio station this morning if he would impose strict conditions on the partnership, such as asking leaders facing ongoing court cases to step down from party leadership.
“Yes, I will not work with people who are being charged in court for corruption or crimes, whether they have been found guilty or not, the people know they are guilty.
“It will be a sad day when the whole world sees the people who have stolen money but the courts say ‘no, they haven’t stolen anything’. It will also be a sad day for our judiciary.”
Earlier in the interview, Dr Mahathir said he is convinced that not one party could garner the needed majority in the Dewan Rakyat in GE15.
He added that neither Pakatan Harapan nor Perikatan Nasional could rule the country on its own, adding that even the coalition with the highest number of seats would have to cooperate with other smaller parties.
“A major party will have to work with us (Pejuang) to form the government because in the next election, it is most likely neither left nor right – PN nor PH will get a clear majority.”
Dr Mahathir was Umno president for over two decades during his first tenure as Prime Minister from 1981 to 2003, but left the party after he had a falling out with two of his successors – Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak.