SHAH ALAM 18 NOV: Mantan Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad dilihat enggan berdepan dengan hakikat prestasi Umno-Barisan Nasional(BN) yang kurang memberangsangkan kebelakangan ini.
Sebaliknya sekali lagi beliau membuat ramalan bahawa parti perkauman itu mampu merampas kembali satu atau dua negeri daripada Pakatan Rakyat pada pilihanraya umum ke- 13 nanti.
Ahli Parlimen Kubang Kerian, Sallehuddin Ayub berkata bekas presiden Umno itu kelihatan cemas melihat dokongan rakyat yang semakin ketara kepada gagasan pakatan pembangkang.
Sallehuddin menambah, Mahathir sebenarnya takut pada pengaruh kuat yang ada pada bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
"Dia hanya mahu sembunyikan perasaan cemas dan tidak boleh terima faktor Anwar sebagai faktor yang besar dalam percaturan politik negara." katanya.
Jelas Sallehuddin lagi, kenyataan Mahathir itu hanyalah menifestasi dalamannya dan beliau sedar akan keretakan parah yang membarah sesama parti kompenan Barisan Nasional.
Naib Presiden PAS itu tidak bersetuju bahawa sokongan rakyat kepada Umno-BN kembali pulih berikutan kemenangan berganda yang diraih parti itu pada PRU Galas dan Parlimen Batu Sapi 4 November lalu.
"Dr Mahathir tahu fakta sebenarnya, kedua-dua pilihanraya itu tak boleh jadi penggantungan pada Umno. Beliau punya analisa tersendiri, kemenangan itu tidak bagi apa-apa lonjakan pada keupayaan Umno berdepan dengan politik semasa." katanya.
Umum mengetahui PRK Galas dan Batu Sapi dicemari dengan insiden membeli undi secara terang terangan namun tiada sebarang tindakan daripada SPR.
Sebelum ini, Dr Mahathir dalam satu wawancara dengan bloomberg meramalkan Umno-BN mampu menawan kembali sekurang- kurangnya dua negeri Pakatan Rakyat namun tidak akan mendapat majoriti dua per tiga dalam parlimen.
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — Datuk Zaid Ibrahim continued his attack on his party comrades today by warning that PKR’s reform agenda was doomed to failure if it continued to ape Barisan Nasional’s (BN) patronage politics. The former party number two hopeful claimed that PKR and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would not be able to oust an entrenched and dominant BN by using a “more or less similar” political approach.
“If we say Barisan Nasional is undemocratic... then our party must be democratic,” he said in an interview on Astro Awani today.
“If we also [practise] political patronage and hang on to power... then how are we different? How are we supposed to gain the people’s support?”
Zaid (picture) said this was the reason he had stressed the importance of process over outcome during the recent PKR direct elections, the results of which will be officially announced next week.
“If we only want to have an election and we use methods... that were rejected by the people in 2008, I don’t see that the party will be able to bring much change,” he warned.
Zaid confirmed this week that he would quit PKR and is expected to make a formal announcement tomorrow.
Last week, the maverick politician dropped out of the party’s deputy presidential race, after claiming irregularities and manipulation in favour of rival Azmin Ali.
Zaid had said he wanted to quit PKR because of the increasing personal attacks by some party members against him, and claimed that he had been targeted merely for asking for a clean, free and fair party election.
He said that right from the start of polling when he was leading the pack in the race for the No. 2 post, he had been calling on party leaders to seriously look into irregularities in the balloting process.
Accusing PKR leaders of being “liars” and “cheats”, Zaid added that he was “sick of the sick leaders” within the party.
He has become increasingly critical of the party leadership in recent weeks, going as far as asking Anwar, the party’s de facto leader, and Azmin to quit their posts for the sake of the party.
The former PKR central leadership council member and Federal Territories chief today also stressed that the nation’s future depended on political change, whether from BN or the opposition.
“There are people who are more practical than me — power, electoral victory and such — but I prefer to delve into this aspect and its effects in the long-term,” he said.
Zaid added that he measured a politician’s success by how effectively he can affect change in the system, and said he would consider himself successful if he brought about some measure of change.
“I gauge the effectiveness of a politician in this country by how far he can change, how far he can be a catalyst... in terms of transparency, our administration, democracy,” he said.
“People worry about change because it is something new. We are comfortable with what exists, so it’s hard for us to change. But, for me, our nation’s progress requires this change so if I can contribute a little to this then I will have been successful.”
When Zaid joined PKR 18 months ago, he was labelled a successor to de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the only other person capable of keeping the PR coalition and its leaders of different ideologies intact.
He was appointed to the party’s political bureau and once enjoyed the support of many of the PKR supreme council members because of his willingness to resign from the Cabinet to protest the ISA arrest of Selangor executive councillor Teresa Kok, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng.
Zaid, however, began to lose popularity when he decided to go on leave from the political bureau amid a power tussle in the Sabah PKR leadership.