Mahathir: Where Will Bersatu Go if Umno Contests Seats Lost to Defection?

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Where will Bersatu contest following a decision by the Umno supreme council to field its candidates in all of the seats Umno lost to defections, asked former Bersatu chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The former prime minister raised this rhetorical question yesterday in his blog, in response to an Aug 25 news report that the Umno supreme council had decided to retake those seats and spare “not even one” to Bersatu.

Umno supreme council member Zahidi Zainul Abidin was quoted as saying by Suara TV that the party will contest in seats it lost due to defections, which is understood to mean seats won in the 14th general election that were later lost after its members jumped ship to Bersatu.

In the blog post, the Langkawi MP alleged that an unnamed Bersatu minister and deputy minister have said the situation did not matter to them as long as they received big salaries and allowances.

This showed that the struggle now is to seek as much money as possible, as the defections were allegedly driven by money, Mahathir said.

“So where is Bersatu to contest? (A) minister and deputy minister from Bersatu answered that they get big salaries and allowances. If it’s only the 15th general election, it’s alright they will still get (money). But if they defect, they do not get anything.

“This is the struggle, a struggle to get money. If it’s not much, a little is also okay.”

He claimed that this appeared to be the state of the country’s politics, where it is easier to get money via politics, and side-line the issues of race, country and religion.

“This is Malaysian politics now. There is nothing easier than money obtained via politics,” Mahathir said, adding that one could even obtain up to RM2 billion.

“Sometimes, there is an opportunity to hop (from one party to another). It is okay. If you do not get a million, hundreds of thousands (of ringgit) is also okay.

Reuters

“The issue of the toppling of a government via defections, that is their problem. The people are disappointed. But who cares Next time, it’ll be a different story. The people easily forget,” Mahathir added.

He alleged that some quarters feel there is no need to rectify the situation, and they have purportedly asked what is wrong with having “penyangak” (crooks) to form the government.

Mahathir claimed they said this because governments everywhere also have “penyangak”.

In a seemingly sarcastic manner, the nonagenarian also stated how “stupid” someone would be to hold on to the original struggle of a party, as principles are not as important as politics, which is more lucrative.

“As ye sow, so shall ye reap. Farewell, Bersatu,” Mahathir wrote in his post as a parting shot. – Malaysiakini