Dr M: Its not about winning or losing

(Bernama) – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today the Barisan Nasional's (BN) decision on whether or not to contest in the Penanti by-election should not be based only on the chances of winning.

"It's not a question of winning or losing, we are the underdog there but we cannot neglect our own supporters," he said.

He said the BN also had to think about the trick the opposition was playing, which, according to him, was just trying to impress the people by showing how many times they could win by-elections.

He told reporters this at the event series, "Bridges-Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace", at the Multimedia University (MMU) here.

The event was also graced by Raja Muda of Perak Raja Dr Nazrin Shah as the honorary chairman of Bridges (Malaysia), his wife Tuanku Zara Salim, and chairman of the Advisory  Board of the International Peace Foundation (IPF) Prince Alfred of Liechtenstein.

Present were founder and president of the Rainbow/Push Coalition Reverend Jesse Louise Jackson Sr as the keynote speaker, and MMU Chancellor Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.

Dr Mahathir was commenting on the supposed vacancy for the seat after former Penang deputy chief minister I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin announced his resignation as Penanti state assembly last Thursday.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had said that the BN might or might not contest the seat by-e lection, and would meet by the end of the month to discuss the matter.

Asked about Johor Baharu Member of Parliament Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad's recommendation for  a straight bridge, rather than a crooked bridge to link Johor and Singapore, Dr Mahathir said it was probably a personal opinion.

"That's Shahrir, Shahrir may be a Johorean but there are others in Johor, not Shahrir alone," he said.