DISUNITY among members of the opposition coalition has always been an advantage to Barisan Nasional, said Dr Mahathir Mohamad who urged Pakatan Harapan to present a united front to win the next elections.
“You must support whatever candidate that is finally chosen (to contest in the 14th general election) and not fight among yourselves. You must set aside your differences in order to save the country from the rule of robbers and thieves.
“I’ve been in politics for a long time. There have been 13 general elections and the opposition has never won. BN has 13 component parties and they all focus their attention on their candidates.
“The opposition instead went up against each other. They did not focus their efforts on their candidates and that is why they have always lost,” Dr Mahathir told some 600 PH members at a fund-raiser at the Bangi Golf Resort in Kuala Lumpur last night.
He said even Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s Semangat 46 returned to Umno after realising it could not create a united front with DAP and PAS to defeat the BN government.
“During Anwar’s (Anwar Ibrahim) time, during Keadilan, he tried to form a three-party coalition. Their performance was better but they could not defeat BN.
“I am of the opinion that if we want to defeat BN, the main issue is unity. Don’t think of your own components. Think of the coalition. We need to support the candidates regardless of the party they are from.
“This time, the unity is better and I never expected to be appointed as chairman. They accepted me as chairman and as chairman, I see unity is better. It is not 100% perfect, but it is better than Pakatan Rakyat. I am confident this time we can defeat BN,” the former prime minister said.
Amanah vice-president Husam Musa said the opposition coalition should quickly choose a prime minister candidate to improve its chances of winning the 14th general election.
Husam, a former PAS vice-president, said the topic of a prime minister candidate was “taboo” in Pakatan Rakyat.
“None of the leaders then was willing to step forward with suggestions… But now in Pakatan Harapan we can discuss the matter.
“Without a candidate for prime minister, we don’t have the confidence of certain segments of society who would otherwise back us. There are parts of society right now that have reservations because we don’t have a candidate.
“It would be the first time that the opposition coalition names a prime minister candidate before the election is held. This will be a pivotal moment in our country’s political history.”
In a PH retreat earlier this month, except for PKR, the other Pakatan coalition parties – DAP, Amanah and Bersatu had agreed to Dr Mahathir as interim prime minister and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as deputy prime minister if it wins GE14.
The opposition is expected to name its candidate for prime minister soon.