People are tired of party-based politics, says Dr M

(FMT) – Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad believes a unity government is the future for Malaysia, saying the people have grown sick and tired of the politicking that is happening in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic this year.

Mahathir said the people were sick of party-based politics which has divided the country and made worse the difficulties brought about by the pandemic, The Malaysian Insight reported.

“(A unity government) is a good approach. It is good if we have a government that does not prioritise party-based politics.

“If we want to reduce politics, we must put aside party matters, we must prioritise the country,” he told the online news portal.

He hit out at the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government for focusing on politics and prioritising its position, citing the Sabah state polls which was triggered after several Pakatan Harapan (PH) assemblymen threw their support behind Musa Aman in a bid to form a new state government.

Mahathir said there wasn’t a need for PN to try and wrestle control of Sabah, saying it would have no helpful impact on the economy and would instead lead to adverse effects.

“In the past, we managed to reduce the number of new (Covid-19 cases) across the whole country, but now, it has increased to more than 1,000 cases a day. And the reason? Because we went to Sabah and violated SOPs,” he said.

The proposal for a unity government was first mooted by Mahathir in his capacity as interim prime minister in February this year, amid the political turmoil that occurred after the PH government’s fall.

Talk of such a unity government resurfaced late last month after Mahathir met MPs in the government and opposition blocs, as well as a federal minister.

Sources told FMT, Mahathir had met with Umno advisory board chairman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Zulkifli Mohamad Al-Bakri and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu on separate occasions.

Meanwhile, in response to the politicking that is rife in the country, especially in recent years, the Malaysian Action for Justice and Unity Foundation (MAJU) and other NGOs founded Gerak Independent, which aims to push for independent candidates to stand for election in the next elections.

Among the prominent names representing Gerak Independent is former Umno MP Tawfik Ismail, who said this was the time for the nation to be rid of party politics and political warlords.