Guan Eng explains why DAP is now collaborating with Dr Mahathir
(MMO) – The DAP had fought Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his 22-year rule as prime minister, but should work with him to “save Malaysia” nonetheless, Lim Guan Eng said today.
Lim, who is the DAP secretary-general, noted that Dr Mahathir now wants to oppose the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and its mainstay party Umno.
“Yes, it is true that there are those who say how can we cooperate with Tun Dr Mahathir when we have fought him for 22 years.
“But don’t forget — we fought Tun Dr Mahathir for 22 years, Dr Mahathir was also fighting us,” he said in his speech at the closing of the DAP national conference today.
“So when he wants to fight with Datuk Seri Najib, he is ready to cooperate with DAP to fight with Barisan Nasional. Why would we not be together with him to fight BN and Umno?” Lim added, referring to current prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Lim highlighted that Dr Mahathir would have faced as much of a challenge as the DAP in setting aside their decades of political enmity.
“It’s not easy for him to come here,” he said, adding that Dr Mahathir had went on to wear a conference tag that carried DAP’s logo and even raised hands together with DAP veteran leaders, Lim Kit Siang and Dr Chen Man Hin.
“But he is willing because he wants to fight. If he wants to fight, let us be with him together to save Malaysia,” he said, describing it as a struggle that must be won.
Guan Eng’s comments came after party delegate Sangeet Kaur Deo, daughter of the late DAP leader Karpal Singh, urged the DAP to evaluate potential allies to determine if they genuinely share the same principles as the party.
Earlier, Sangeet had, during the conference debates, noted that Dr Mahathir was instrumental in the enforcement of the now-abolished Internal Security Act 1960 — which allows for detention without trial like the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 — during his rule as prime minister.
Dr Mahathir, who made his first-ever appearance at DAP’s national conference in the party’s 50 years of existence, had left before the debates started.
Guan Eng had said then that those who were once DAP’s political enemies are now its new allies, noting that there are no permanent friends or enemies, but “permanent principles”.
Dr Mahathir, formerly Umno president, has left the ruling party and is now chairing newly-formed opposition party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.