Pairin: Mahathir goes all out to ‘get’ his foe


Former Sabah CM recalls Mahathir’s wrath when he led Parti Bersatu Sabah out of Barisan Nasional in 1990

(FMT) – Dr Mahathir Mohamad will stop at nothing to dislodge someone he dislikes, recalls Kadazandusun chief Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who faced Mahathir’s wrath while he was Sabah chief minister.

Pairin said Mahathir’s decision to form a new alliance of opposition parties against the Barisan Nasional came as no surprise.

He said Mahathir was a “political animal” who would stop at nothing to dislodge anyone he dislikes.

For more than a year Dr Mahathir has led a campaign to dislodge Najib Razak as president of Umno and prime minister, and resigned from Umno in February after failing to bring about a parliamentary vote of no confidence in the prime minister.

He has launched a Citizens’ Declaration to petition for intervention by the Rulers’ Conference to dismiss Najib.

On Friday, he announced he would form a new political party and work to bring opposition parties together in a new alliance against Barisan Nasional.

“What would result from the move remains to be seen,” Pairin told NST Online. “In the final analysis, the people have to make the decision. It cannot be otherwise. We cannot change it. If the people say this, then that is the decision just like Brexit. There is no referendum after that, for better for worse, you make the decision,” he said.

Pairin said it was only natural for Dr Mahathir to be in the thick of things despite the general thinking that he should retire at his age.

“Once he makes up his mind (that) he does not like a person, just like how he did not like me, he would go all out to dislodge that person. He tried to do that with me,” Pairin said.

Pairin is paramount leader of the Kadazandusun community of Sabah.

In 1985, he broke away from Sabah’s dominant party Usno to form Parti Bersatu Sabah and led to victory at two state elections. He faced attempts at destabilising his government, and attempts were made twice to thwart him from taking his oath of office.

In 1990, he was the subject of Dr Mahathir’s wrath when he led Parti Bersatu Sabah out of the BN coalition just before the 1990 elections, in a loose alliance with Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. PBC rejoined the coalition in 2002.