Tun M: BN In Good Position To Win
PUTRAJAYA – Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today that Barisan Nasional (BN) is in a good position to win the next general election, which may take place early next year.
The question, however, is whether BN will obtain a majority, he said, as a weak government would be attacked by the opposition, who would create issues to undermine it, he said.
“I think they are busy campaigning to make sure they can win. The Umno General Assembly was quite good, the response was quite good. It looks like Umno is now back to being popular with the people,” he told reporters here at the Perdana Leadership Foundation.
Dr Mahathir said the election might be held sometime next year, although the Parliament is not due to end its term until 2013.
“If the election is held too early, states under opposition control might not want to go through with it because they want to retain those states and make a bid for other states. Maybe that would be their strategy.
“But if the election is held very near the end of the term, there is no benefit for them. So they will have to come together, have the election together. It is up to the government to consider this,” he said.
Asked whether Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s court case will play a role in the coming election, Mahathir said: “One way or another he will play a role.”
Recalling the 1999 general election, he said when Anwar was found guilty of the court case then, he made use of the black eye incident and BN lost about 300,000 votes from the Malays.
“The Chinese voted for BN. The Chinese were very strong supporters of BN because we succeeded in tackling the currency crisis and many of them were saved from bankruptcy. That’s why we retain the two-thirds majority, although Umno lost a lot of seats,” he said.
However, many of Anwar’s strong followers and people who believed in him have left him, Mahathir said, including Dr Chandra Muzaffar and lawyer Zainur Zakaria, who no longer believe in the things he said.
Those who left him are now shooting back at him and condemning him, he said.
“In 1999, he was very strong because he was in jail and he had his black eye and said that I conspired to get rid of him. Why would I conspire? I wanted to step down anyway,” he said. – BERNAMA