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Monday, August 7, 2017

'What Malay tsunami? Impact of Bersatu is insignificant'

Penang Umno Youth leaders do not believe that a Malay tsunami will occur in the 14th general election as perceived by some quarters in Pakatan Harapan, saying the impact of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) is "insignificant".
To the wing’s chief Rafizal Abd Rahim, Umno can still win GE14, which must be called by August next year, even without the support of Malays who jumped ship to Bersatu.
“It is DAP that should be very worried because it is not only losing the support of the Malays, but Chinese and Indians as well,” Rafizal told Malaysiakini in an interview in Penang yesterday.
Describing Bersatu as “the flower party” because of its hibiscus symbol, Rafizal dismissed its followers - who are also former Umno members - as “problematic, troublemakers and of low mentality”.
“Good riddance to them as we do not want them to ride along with us in the coming general election,” he said.
Rafizal was refuting Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin’s statement that Umno will not be able to withstand the "Malay tsunami" wave that is now sweeping through the heartlands that used to be its strongholds.
Bersatu’s leadership line-up may seem impressive, especially with the likes of Muhyiddin, the former deputy prime minister, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former Kedah menteri besar Mukhriz Mahathir but Rafizal described the Bersatu members as “losers” in Umno’s 2013 party elections.
“They were given posts and recognition when they joined Bersatu, but it is not about the struggle,” he claimed, adding that their new enterprise with Mahathir earned them much publicity and gave them an avenue to put Umno in a bad light.
Rafizal also dismissed Mahathir’s 22 years as a towering figure during his rule as prime minister in the 1980s until his retirement in 2003.
“He made a big mistake when he shared the same stage with DAP’s Lim Kit Siang. This was a turning point of many Malays who were previously hardcore supporters of Mahathir,” Rafizal said.
“The people cannot accept you condemning Kit Siang as a racist one day, but the next, you sit at the same table with him. This is when people know you are lying.”
'Now we know Mahathir is a big liar'
Mahathir’s new relationship with Anwar Ibrahim also begets the same response, said Rafizal, who took up the post as the state Umno Youth chief in 2013.
When the current de facto PKR leader was sacked from government in 1998, he was thrashed by Mahathir, who painted him as a “problematic leader who had sexual problems”.
But recently, Mahathir said Anwar could be Harapan’s prime minister, and accepted his former nemesis as the de facto leader of the new coalition, while Mahathir is its chairperson.
Pointing to his head, Rafizal said: "There is a mental block inside here about Anwar, but Mahathir is telling us now that he is okay, and whatever he said was said in 1998.
“Come on, we are not that stupid. But now we know that he (Mahathir) is a big liar”.
Saying that Mahathir has destroyed his own reputation and personality, Rafizal urged the former Umno leader to behave and learn from former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who, after retiring, left the country in the hands of the new prime minister.
To the criticisms about him making a U-turn on Anwar, Mahathir defendedhimself by saying he did it to destroy Najib, not out of fear for his former deputy.
Rafizal also expressed confidence that Umno would be able to capture 15 state seats from Harapan, an increase of five seats in Penang. Umno holds 10 state seats, while DAP has 19, PKR 10 and PAS one.
He went further to express his confidence that with the help of Umno’s component parties Gerakan, MCA and MIC, BN will be able to recapture Penang in GE14.
“Our message is simple: do you want a chief minister who has been charged with corruption or one who has not? I am sure people would choose the latter. Our leaders have no graft cases pending in court,” he claimed, referring to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s graft case involving the purchase of his bungalow on Jalan Pinhorn.

Guan Eng described the prosecution as a political conspiracy to topple his leadership.
As for Umno’s relationship with PAS, Rafizal admitted that both parties have not discussed seat allocations but they would cooperate for the sake of the Malay Muslims, as long as there is no clash of their ideologies.
“We are neither friends nor enemies. When we meet during GE14, we hope to have a friendly match,” he said of PAS. - Mkini

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