PUTRAJAYA: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad on Saturday (Dec 29) called on Malays and Bumiputera to place their trust in Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) as the party that will save, develop and bring success to them.
Speaking at the party's second annual general assembly at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre, Dr Mahathir, who is also PPBM chairman, stressed that the party knew how the Malays and Bumiputera could succeed and thus save themselves.
“There’s no need for me to elaborate here on how Bersatu can change the future of the Malays and Bumiputera. What we ask now is just your trust and willingness to follow our way.
“Believe that the Malays are capable of saving themselves. Believe that only the Malays can save the Malays,” he said in his policy speech at the party's second annual general assembly, which was also attended by party president Muhyiddin Yassin.
In his speech, Dr Mahathir said that the Malays are currently in a state of uncertainty and have lost their direction following the defeat of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) in the May 9 election.
UMNO, after representing the Malays for so long, seemed to have split to the extent of being seen as nonexistent, he said.
Dr Mahathir said he would be accused of being racist for giving emphasis on the future of the Malays and Bumiputera, but he felt it was necessary, as he had seen the deterioration of the race over a period of more than 70 years.
“It’s okay if people want to say bad things about me as long as my race realises the terrible fate that awaits them in the future. We must realise now that we too are at fault. Do not look at other people’s fault.
“The choice to make amends is on our hands. It does not need so much effort, but InsyaAllah (God willing) all our sacrifices will pay off,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said he was now focusing on what could be done by political leaders from Bersatu in the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
“The power of the government leader is to develop the country so that the people can live more comfortably and perfectly,” he said, adding that it was never meant to obtain personal gain.
The ultimate goal, he said, was to make Malaysia a developed nation, or one on par with others in the world, and not to be the poor country among richer ones, and also to ensure that the country’s wealth is shared by all the races.
For the "weak" race, he said a "walking stick" could help, but such aid must not be retained and needs to be dropped when the race’s ability to walk has been restored.
“We entered politics so that we will no longer need to depend on politics. We entered politics to save and free ourselves by creating success stories that will prove that we are capable of competing with any quarters and that each of us is self-reliant and need not use the walking stick,” he said.
He said the perception that a ‘walking stick’ was a symbol of honour was wrong, as those who could stand up in the face of challenges were actually the ones that symbolised honour.
Dr Mahathir also said that former UMNO leaders accepted into PBMM's ranks will not be allowed to hold positions until the 15th general election as a test of their sincerity.
"The ones who are going to change are the former party members. They will adopt our culture. They will cooperate with us," he said.
Earlier this month, UMNO suffered a series of defections from the party as several senior figures left, some pledging their support to the ruling PH government.
The three-day Bersatu annual general assembly, which is taking place at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre, ends tomorrow.