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10 August 2009

Pakatan sure to lose Selangor, says Dr M

By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 10 - Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is already ringing the death knell for the Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor government.

He said the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners' many ideological differences which often lead to open disputes is evidence that the opposition alliance is only destined to split.

Dr Mahathir also said that PR component parties like the DAP and PAS are merely errand boys to realise the agenda of PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim whom he said has managed so far to deceive and conceal his true intentions from the two.

“How can they work together when they have so many opposing ideas, only Anwar has succeeded in deceiving the two parties to push his own agenda ... DAP and PAS are being used by him,” he told a press conference here today.

The statement was made in reference to the open squabbling in Selangor involving top leaders from PAS and DAP over the beer sales issue. Selangor PAS chief and executive councillor (exco) Datuk Hassan Ali blasted DAP exco Ronnie Liu's interference in the matter and demanded his resignation.

The PR leadership's seemingly castrated attempts to discipline their ranks and contain their quarrels have provided their rivals Umno with the opportunity to drive a wedge between them.

Selangor Umno chief and party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak's recent declaration that he wanted to regain control over the state, the richest in Malaysia, has added to the speculation of an Umno-BN conspiracy for a takeover.

Mahathir, who is becoming more and more critical of Najib's rule after practising “abstinence” in the past, was quick to point out that PR's internal problems won't make it easier for the current Umno chief to win Selangor again.

He said only if BN can prove to be a "viable alternative" to PR can the former realistically expect to win back the state.

“The opposition won (in Selangor) not because people like them, they won because people are fed up with the previous leadership of the BN government. They are actually BN supporters who are dissatisfied with the way they were running things,” he said.

“If BN can provide itself as an alternative for PR, BN can win (back Selangor),” added the former premier.

But judging from the strong criticism Mahathir has thrown against the Najib administration, it is unlikely that he believes the ruling coalition he once led is capable – in its present form - of becoming an alternative to PR.


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