‘Blame Mahathir for Umno’s DAP phobia’

UMNO’s long-held “phobia” about DAP stemmed from Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he was Umno president, but the party would be unwise not to accept their former rivals now, says Ahmad Maslan.

“There are people who have a phobia about DAP. Who created this phobia? It is Tun Mahathir,” said Ahmad at a town hall session organised by Kota Raja Umno.

(But) when he wanted to beat us, what happened? He was with DAP during GE14 (2018 general election). That’s why we lost, because Tun was with DAP.”

Former foes Umno and DAP are both part of the unity federal government.

In May, Ahmad created headlines after encouraging Umno members to vote for DAP candidates in the state elections due next month. He said they represented the unity government, and not DAP.

Ahmad, an Umno Supreme Council member, said the current political reality, in which the Chinese community had largely thrown support behind DAP, makes the party an invaluable ally.

“Chinese voters have largely supported DAP since 2008. Until when will we close our minds to the current political dynamics? If we want to win (elections), we need Chinese votes because the Malays are divided,” he said, adding that Indian votes are also crucial.

He also reminded Umno of DAP’s Shah Alam Declaration in 2012, in which the party pledged to maintain the special position of Malays and Bumiputeras, ensure the position of Islam as the federal religion, and honour Bahasa Malaysia as the national language.

During the same town hall session, Umno information chief Azalina Othman Said claimed Perikatan Nasional was giving its supporters “false hope” with claims that it could topple the federal government if the coalition did well at the six state elections set for next month.

These claims include that by Selangor Perikatan Nasional chairman Azmin Ali, who last month said PN could topple Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s government if the coalition wins the Selangor state election.

“Will the results of a state election affect the federal government? That’s not true,” said Azalina. “They’re just giving false hope.”