Former prime minister [4th in chronology] Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad who said this, opined that the mentality of many people today had been influenced by the flaws in the government leadership before this, invoking a sentiment which was difficult to change.
He said change would take a long process, hence Najib must be firm in restoring UMNO and BN‘s image.
“It’s very difficult to change people’s thinking, that is why the government led by Najib has to be firm in its stand in rebuilding BN‘s image, particularly UMNO‘s image,” he told reporters following BN‘s loss in the Bukit Gantang parliamentary and Bukit Selambau state legislative assembly by-elections yesterday.
Earlier, Dr Mahathir had launched the book titled “Mencari Kebahagiaan” (Looking for Happiness) written by Datuk Hashim bin Abdul Wahab, at the Perdana Leadership Foundation building, here.
He said besides the lack of development, rampant corruption had only heightened people’s dissatisfaction with the government.
“People are unhappy to see that after almost six years, there is not much development and we don’t know who got the government contracts. Many of the small and medium-scale industries cannot survive,” he added.
On the claim that BN‘s loss in two out of the three by-elections was due to non-Malay votes for the opposition, Dr Mahathir said this could not be the factor as Malays formed the majority of voters in both areas.
“If the Malays didn’t vote for PKR in Bukit Selambau, PKR would not have won. The Indians are the minority there; they could not have won (without Malay votes). If you add the Indian votes to the Chinese votes, they (PKR) still could not win. The fact is many of the Malay voters gave their votes to PKR. It shows there are (many) Malays who are dissatisfied with the government,” he said.
Dr Mahathir also refuted the claim that there was an agreement between him and Najib to include his son Datuk Mukhriz in the new cabinet line-up.
He said this was mere speculation and baseless as he had never interfered in Mukhriz’s political route.
“I have never lobbied for my son. I have never campaigned for him, and have never spoken for him. I leave him alone and when he lost (the UMNO Youth elections), that’s his business.
“If Najib wants to appoint him, that’s Najib’s business, not mine,” he said.