KUALA LIPIS: The allegation that Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad “secretly” wants the Barisan Nasional candidate, Ramli Mohd Nor, to win the Cameron Highlands by-election is just a story fabricated by Barisan to fish for votes, says Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
The Deputy Prime Minister said it was no surprise that the opposition made up such stories.
“It sounds intriguing, but it’s not true,” she told reporters after a lunch feast with the villagers in Kampung Keledek here.
In fact, she said Dr Mahathir, who is Pakatan chairman, would be in Cameron Highlands tomorrow to campaign for the Pakatan candidate, M. Manogaran.
“He will come and campaign (for Pakatan),” she said.
Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa in a ceramah here two days ago claimed that “Dr Mahathir, deep down in his heart, wants the Barisan candidate to win in Cameron Highlands”.
Dr Wan Azizah urged the orang asli to vote for Pakatan to change the fate of the indigenous people for the better.
She said the votes they had given to the Barisan over the past 60 years had not translated into much change for the better for the community.
Dr Wan Azizah said that if Dr Mahathir, a Barisan leader at one time, could join Pakatan, there was nothing wrong for the orang asli to express their support for the new government.
“We want support. I have come here to garner support. Give your support to us and the Pakatan candidate.
“I know that the orang asli here have problems associated with native customary rights and the ‘tok batin’ have much power.
“So, we can consider ways to step up the orang asli participation in development,” she said during a visit to the Pakatan operations room in Dusun Pak Senam near here.
On another matter, Dr Wan Azizah said she had taken leave to campaign in the by-election as a political leader and used her own car for the campaign.
She said she was abiding by the election rules that prohibited the use of government assets during election campaigns.
“We are trying to avoid all controversies because this is the standard operating procedure for elections,” she said. — Bernama