Mahathir: Bersatu must be willing to accept new people

PUTRAJAYA: Parti Pribumi Ber­satu Malaysia chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the party must be willing to accept new people, including ex-Umno members.

“We Malays are the poorest in our country. We are 60% (of the population) but we have become smaller as we break into separate parties.

“It is not the mistake of Umno and PAS but when Malays are given power, they fight and weaken themselves,” he said.

He warned party division leaders that their refusal to take in new members would spell their downfall.

“Maybe the new ones are smarter and they may win and we will lose. There are times in politics when we win and we lose; and when we lose, we accept and then we fight again. To ensure we do not lose and if we do not accept new ones, we will be division chiefs without members.

“When that happens, our party will be destroyed and you will not be division chiefs as there will not be any party. When the party is destroyed, no matter how high your position is, it will be meaningless,” he added.

In his winding-up speech at Bersatu’s annual general meeting yesterday, the Prime Minister also told party leaders and members to be willing to accept criticisms from each other or they would not know how ugly they were.

He said reproach in a party was like the mirror which told the truth.

“We meet to speak ... what is the use of an assembly if there are restrictions? Without criticisms, we will go astray. If we cannot see into the mirror, we will not know if we are ugly or beautiful.

“This is our culture – a willingness to accept criticism from anyone,” said Dr Mahathir.

He warned that parties which gagged members would ultimately be destroyed, as people would reject them during the elections.

Dr Mahathir also said there was a need for his party to increase members, not to threaten the other Pakatan Harapan partners, but to ensure that it could stand strong as part of the coalition.

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Politics , Pribumi , Mahathir Mohamad