'UMNO has no future': Malaysian PM Mahathir on eve of Cameron Highlands polls

'UMNO has no future': Malaysian PM Mahathir on eve of Cameron Highlands polls

Mathir at Cameron Highlands
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad (centre) campaigning during the Cameron Highlands by-election on Jan 25, 2019. (Photo: Bernama)

CAMERON HIGHLANDS: The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) is a "broken party" with no future, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Friday (Jan 25) as campaigning for the Cameron Highlands by-election entered the final day.

According to a report by The Star, Dr Mahathir said many UMNO members want to join his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.

“UMNO has no future, so why still support them?” he said

“For 22 years as UMNO President, I did not steal money. I quit UMNO because the party has changed,” he added.

"It has become a parti penyamun (robbers’ party).”

On Friday, Dr Mahathir arrived in Cameron Highlands on a private helicopter around noon. He later attended a gathering with thousands of voters before performing his Friday prayers at the local mosque.

“Don’t we love this country of ours?” he asked, drawing applause and shouts of "long live Mahathir" from the crowd.

READ: Pakatan Harapan has not engaged in vote-buying: Malaysia PM Mahathir

Taking aim at Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Ramli Mohd Nor, he said UMNO picked the former senior police officer for the contest only because he is Orang Asli.

“So they have an Orang Asli candidate, but it is to trick the Orang Asli community, he said, according to The Star.

“They (BN) don’t love the Orang Asli. They only love positions.”

The by-election on Saturday will see PH’s M Manogaran, 59, take on Mr Ramli, 61.

Former lecturer Sallehudin Ab Talib, 61, and farmer Wong Seng Yee, 40, are also running as independent candidates.

READ: Pahang has highest debt among all states in Malaysia: Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng

The by-election was triggered after the Election Court declared BN’s victory in the May 2018 general election null and void, due to corrupt practices to influence voters.

Malays account for more than 33 per cent of the voters in Cameron Highlands, while the Chinese account for almost 30 per cent.

Orang Asli voters account for more than 21 per cent, while around 15 per cent are Indians.

NOT TRUE MAHATHIR HAS NO FAITH IN PH CANDIDATE: HOME MINISTER

Malaysia General Election Muhyiddin Yassin (1)
File photo of Muhyiddin Yassin on Nomination Day. (Photo: Justin Ong)

On Thursday, Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin dismissed claims that Dr Mahathir has no confidence in Mr Manogaran as a candidate.

“The Prime Minister usually does not take part in small campaigns like this but he clearly feels this by-election is important. Since we are contesting here, surely the community and the voters here want to hear the message from Tun as the Prime Minister,” said Mr Muhyiddin.

“The assumption (that Dr Mahathir has no confidence in Mr Manogaran) is not correct,” he stated.

“With Pakatan Harapan, every leader is committed to helping our candidates win the elections,” he said, adding that all PH leaders, including Dr Mahathir, would help with the campaign for the Semenyih by-election on Mar 2.

Source: CNA/Bernama/aw(hm)

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