Dr Wee: Bersatu strategising to become largest party in Pakatan

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 06 Jul 2019

KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's invitation to Umno members to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia is a strategy for it to become the largest party in Pakatan Harapan so that they can retain the prime minister's post, claims Dr Wee Ka Siong.

"The call by Dr Mahathir does not come as a surprise or shock to me.

"It is normal for him to invite others to join Bersatu so that it will be the largest party in the Pakatan coalition.

"This would mean that the prime minister's post should be given to his party," he told reporters after opening the 40th Annual General Meeting of Koperasi Serbaguna Malaysia Bhd's (KSMB) 40th Annual General Meeting at Wisma MCA on Saturday (July 6).

Dr Wee said Bersatu started off with 13 parliamentary seats after the May 9 polls last year, but has since doubled that number following crossovers by Umno members.

"What we are talking about is political bargaining power which is based on the number seats," added the MCA president.

He said DAP leaders, like advisor Lim Kit Siang and secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, should speak up.

"All this while you (Kit Siang and Guan Eng) have been criticising Malay parties. What is your comment on Dr Mahathir's open invitation ... say something and don't just keep silent," he added.

On Friday (July 5), Dr Mahathir made a call for Umno members to join Bersatu since political division among the Malays was growing.

On a separate issue, Dr Wee said there should not be a blanket attempt by the government to abolish the mandatory death penalty.

He said the implications must be viewed for each offence separately. He added the government should also take into consideration a survey by Malay daily Berita Harian, which showed that 78% out of 22,000 individuals polled were against abolishing the mandatory death penalty.

He said the government should be clear if it intended to abolish the mandatory penalty outright or to give discretionary power to judges.

On Thursday (July 4), Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Liew Vui Keong said a Bill would be tabled in Parliament to abolish the mandatory death penalty for 11 serious offences.

He said judges would then be given the discretion to impose 30 years' jail or life imprisonment upon conviction.

The nine offences fall under the Penal Code and two under the Firearms (Increased Penalties) Act 1971.

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