Pakatan’s ties do not bind, says Dr M

Dr. M

(TMI) – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad regards the co-operation among the opposition parties as temporary and only to win the coming general election.

Unlike the Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties, which had close co-operation and understanding among them for 55 years, he said there was often no consensus in the opposition Pakatan Rakyat pact and no plans for the future.

“We must remember that the pact is not a coalition. It is an unwritten agreement to co-operate to fight BN, that’s all,” he said.

He noted that certain quarters were reported to want to give a chance to the opposition in the upcoming general election, thinking that they were like BN.

Speaking to Malaysian journalists after delivering a public lecture to about 1,000 guests comprising university students, academicians and corporate figures from all over Sudan yesterday, Dr Mahathir said the opposition did not have a development agenda for the country, much less to look after the interest of the people.

“What has been promised is to raise to 20 per cent the (petroleum) royalty for some state governments. So, other states without oil will lose out and this means only the states which have oil can be developed.

“Even now, with the 5 per cent royalty we pay, they are so rich, far richer than other states,” he said.

On the opposition’s shadow cabinet, which was said to be still vague, the country’s fourth prime minister said it was normal.

“They have the ambition to rule Malaysia. As such, they need to set up what is called a shadow cabinet but it is only a shadow.

“They find it difficult to select a leader because everyone wants to be a leader. Anwar Ibrahim (the opposition leader) thinks he will be prime minister but other people also have big ambitions.”

Dr Mahathir said promising to have 10 to 15 deputy prime ministers in the shadow cabinet was just bait for the opposition parties to co-operate.

A foreign newspaper recently pointed out that Anwar’s interest in a shadow cabinet had remained vague, despite expressing his interest a few times since the last general election in 2008.

The report said the shadow cabinet model, found mainly in Britain and Australia, would mark each individual cabinet minister who play a role in criticising the current government and its policies, while offering alternative solutions.

Dr Mahathir who arrived in Khartoum Wednesday, earlier opened the Malaysia-Sudan Trade and Investment Forum, here. He will leave for Oman today.