KUALA LUMPUR: Dr Mahathir Mohamad may have uttered some harsh words to his friend, Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali, but the latter still has a high level of respect for the former premier.
“Tun (Mahathir) said he is embarrassed to be friends with me, but it’s okay. I still consider him not only as a friend, but also as a glorious statesman. I remember his contributions (to the country).
“I will still respect him no matter how much he insults me. If I see him, I will kiss his hand because I’m the type of person who respects the elderly,” said Ibrahim at a press conference at Perkasa headquarters here today.
He added that although he was a strong supporter of Mahathir, just like the way he was of former opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, it did not mean he would always agree with him.
Mahathir has always had a good relationship with the Malay NGO, which he maintained even after it was cast aside by BN.
The 91-year-old former prime minister had told a press conference yesterday that he was embarrassed to be friends with Ibrahim, who had refused to join PPBM due to its alliance with DAP.
Mahathir also accused Perkasa of supporting Prime Minister Najib Razak when it decided to field candidates in 50 Malay-majority constituencies in the next general election.
On this, Ibrahim said he had already informed both Mahathir and PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin of his refusal to work with DAP.
“I can’t join a ship which is also carrying the enemies,” he said, adding that his dislike of DAP stemmed from the party’s consistent questioning of the position of the Malays and Bumiputeras in Malaysia.
“They should thank me for not joining PPBM. If I did, and I cannot accept the alliance with DAP, I would end up giving them more problems.”
Ibrahim also denied former information minister Zainuddin Maidin’s claim that his refusal to join Mahathir was because the former premier had mended ties with Anwar.
“So that there is no misunderstanding, the main cause (of my refusal) is DAP. Zam’s writing is inaccurate.”
Ibrahim expressed uneasiness about Anwar, saying that the man who was Pakatan Harapan’s choice to be the prime minister, was not a good leader.
“We know the court has found Anwar guilty of certain offences. He cannot be a leader, yet Pakatan insists that he is their top choice for the prime minister’s post.”
Anwar is currently serving a five-year prison term for sodomy.