June 19, 2009

Dr M - Country needed an opposition to have a check and balance in government !

Dr M to PAS: National unity or Malay unity?
KUALA LUMPUR: PAS must clarify whether it wants to form a “unity government” with Umno or the entire Barisan Nasional coalition, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The former premier said it was confusing what PAS wanted to do because it has not spelt out what it means by forming such a government.
“If the party joined forces with Umno, then this would result in a Malay-dominated government. But we have always insisted that this country is for all communities,” he told reporters after opening the 11th International Surveyors’ Congress here Thursday.
“Such a move may unite the Malays but it will not contribute towards greater unity among Malaysians,” he added.
Dr Mahathir said he believed the current Barisan system was the best type of administration that the country could have.
On PAS insisting that its Pakatan Rakyat allies DAP and PKR be part of the proposed unity government, Dr Mahathir said Umno itself would also have to include MCA, MIC and other Barisan component parties in the deal.
“These (the component parties) are our friends. We cannot abandon them,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said the country needed an opposition voice to provide a check and balance in government.
“Without the opposition, we may not know what we are doing wrong. This is something we should uphold. We should not have a one-party state like certain countries,” he added.
Asked whether he thought the current opposition was strong enough to point out the Government’s mistakes, Dr Mahathir said: “No.”
“They should criticise when the Government really does something wrong. Criticising for the sake of being the opposition is not very healthy.
“But they still serve their purpose. Don’t always assume what you are doing is right,” he added.
On PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat telling his deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa to leave the party, Dr Mahathir jokingly said that Nik Aziz was old like him and was sometimes grumpy.
“I am also grumpy sometimes. That’s why people are scared of me,” he said.

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