By Lisa J. Ariffin
KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s claims that the opposition is not confident of winning the general election are to hide concerns faced by Barisan Nasional (BN).
Referring to statements recently made by the former premier, PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub (picture) said they were just one of the manifestations of Umno’s and BN’s worries about PR’s increasing support ahead of the general election.
“Mahathir’s statement that we are not confident of winning the 13th general election is inaccurate and is only to hide concerns faced by Umno and BN themselves,” Salahuddin was quoted as saying by Sinar Online today.
Dr Mahathir had reportedly accused the opposition of lacking the confidence to win in GE13, hence it was resorting to various accusations against BN in hopes the people would overthrow the federal government.
He specifically mentioned the Bersih 3.0 rally for electoral reforms, which was led by the opposition parties, was aimed to discredit the government and reject democratic results.
Dismissing this, Salahuddin said Malaysians have become more knowledgeable in politics and can judge BN’s leadership for themselves.
DAP national deputy chairman Dr Tan Seng Giaw mirrored his colleague’s sentiments, saying “Mahathir should not have made such statements as this shows Umno’s worry to face GE13”.
“If it is true Umno is not worried, why has Parliament not been dissolved until today?” he asked.
PKR information chief Chua Tian Chang agreed with Dr Tan, and said “Mahathir’s claims are without basis.”
Chua said there was no evidence to show that the recent Bersih 3.0 demonstration was an attempt to overthrow the government.
“The effort to tarnish the image of the police force is a very different classification from overthrowing the government,” he said.
“The Election Commission has to be transparent and fair in every general election and free from any political bodies.”
Last Sunday, Dr Mahathir accused PR of taking various actions to topple the ruling government as the opposition had never won a general election since independence 55 years ago.
He was confident the present government was strong enough and capable of maintaining peace.
He warned the people of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who he said was regarded as choice leader by the United States.
He advised the people to be careful when choosing leaders to prevent the country from being controlled and colonised again.