Loke: DAP worked with Mahathir hoping he had changed

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DAP’s past cooperation with former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad was sincere, said party secretary-general Anthony Loke.

It was driven by the hope that the nonagenarian had changed and could help bring change, he explained.

“Truthfully, back then we were very sincere in wanting to ensure there was a new administration that could bring about change.

“At that time, we hoped that Mahathir, after reaching a very advanced age, could have changed and not just join forces to topple (then PM) Najib Abdul Razak, but to bring change.


“That is why at the time, many placed their hopes on Mahathir to use this second chance to bring about change and to develop the country,” Loke told reporters in Selangor today.

He was responding to Mahathir’s statement yesterday that he had used DAP and vice versa to win in polls.

The 98-year-old said this when asked how he came to work with DAP despite previously being a staunch critic of the party.

DAP and Pakatan Harapan began cooperating with Mahathir in 2016 at the height of the 1MDB scandal.

One significant moment that marked the beginning of the cooperation, was when Mahathir met then jailed Harapan leader Anwar Ibrahim in court and shook hands.

However, Loke revealed today that Anwar was at first hesitant about the prospects of a Harapan-Mahathir team-up.

“Anwar reminded us that he knew Mahathir.

“But in the end, he agreed with (Harapan’s) views as he saw there was a strategic need and a need to combine influence and power to unite in order to form a new government,” Loke said.

This strategy, he said, paid off when Harapan formed the government in 2018.

‘But we regret what happened after the government was formed, that it could not completely achieve its objectives,” he added.

The Harapan government collapsed in 2020 when Bersatu and several PKR leaders defected to form the Perikatan Nasional government with Umno, PAS and GPS after the Sheraton Move.

Mahathir at the time was opposed to PN but is now working together with the coalition to oppose the Anwar administration. – Malaysiakini