KUALA LUMPUR: April 30, 2008
The decision by former Gerakan deputy secretary-general Datuk Lee Kah Choon to accept a job under the Penang DAP Government should not be taken lightly by Barisan Nasional if it wishes to survive and regain the people’s support, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The former prime minister said in a letter that Lee might be motivated by a genuine desire to work for the good of Penang and Malaysia but, “it may also be because loyalty to Barisan is now based on personal gains or fear of punishment of some kind.”
He said this was especially so among the leaders and there was no genuine love for the objectives said to be the raison d’etre for the coalition’s existence.
Dr Mahathir added that if the Opposition were able to provide a good government, look after the interests of ordinary people, and lead a Spartan lifestyle, those who voted for them out of anger against Barisan would transfer their loyalty permanently to them.
When that happens, he said Umno and the other component parties could forget about recapturing the states they lost to the Opposition and their turncoat members would remain turncoats who would actively work against Barisan in the next elections.
“To lose once is bad but to lose a second time is an unmitigated disaster,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said unless drastic action was taken now there would not be enough time to rehabilitate Umno and all the other component parties for the next general election.