FORMER prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said both he and DAP were merely using each other in their shared pursuit of toppling Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his administration in the 14th general election (GE14) in 2018.
Speaking on the latest episode of the “Keluar Sekejap” podcast, the 98-year-old veteran politician said the collaboration with DAP was driven by the mutual desire to secure a two-thirds majority for Pakatan Harapan (PH) during the general polls, bearing in mind that “the enemy of your enemy is your friend”.
“If I hadn’t used DAP, we wouldn’t have achieved a majority and Najib would have continued as prime minister. Between DAP and Najib, which one do we need to eliminate?” he asked “Keluar Sekejap” hosts Khairy Jamaluddin and Shahril Hamdan.
“That’s why I wanted to use DAP. And I realised that DAP also wanted to use me because DAP also had the same goal, which was to get a two-thirds majority and take down (Najib).”
Dr Mahathir was responding to Shahril who questioned his apparent inconsistency in dealing with DAP and PAS.
The former UMNO president was previously a staunch critic of DAP and PAS during his time with UMNO.
He quit his party before forming Bersatu in 2016, which then entered the Pakatan Harapan coalition comprising PKR, DAP, and Amanah.
Dr Mahathir was then ousted from Bersatu following the 2020 Sheraton Move, following which he formed the Malay-based party Pejuang.
He has since quit Pejuang and is currently the informal adviser of the four PAS-led state governments, namely Kelantan, Terengganu, Kedah and Perlis.
Meanwhile, speaking about Najib, who is serving a 12-year prison sentence after being found guilty of graft and money laundering, Dr Mahathir said that the former had “ruined UMNO”.
“[Najib brought UMNO] from a party that fought for the nation, country, and religion to a party that fought for cash. That became UMNO’s struggle. That wasn’t the UMNO (that I knew), I couldn’t sit in the party like that,” he remarked.
“Secondly, he (Najib) taught the Malays to rely on the government to ask for things, like asking for alms. That wasn’t the value of the Malays. The Malays should be ashamed. But Najib said ‘Why should I be ashamed? I am the boss’.”
Dr Mahathir acknowledged, however, that he was initially excited about Najib’s entrance into the party, given the fact that he was the eldest son of former premier Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.
“I owed it to Tun Razak. Without Tun Razak, I wouldn’t be where I am now. So, I wanted to support his son and repay him,” the former Langkawi MP elaborated.
“…Eventually, I found out he (Najib) wasn’t like his father. He prioritised himself. Soon after, I found out that he played with money,” he said. – Nov 13, 2023
Main pic credit: Office of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad