Tun M sings praises of DAP after attending party conference

SHAH ALAM: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad (pix) said attending DAP's party conference opened his eyes and he repudiated many of his previous views of the party.

Mahathir seemed surprised that DAP, often labelled by Barisan Nasional as a Chinese party, conducted its party conference in Bahasa Malaysia and even its party anthem is sung in the language.

"I admit, my opinion about DAP in the past was wrong," he told a press conference after the opening.

He also noted that there were many non-chinese party members present at the conference as well as in the party's leadership.

"This is not a Chinese party, but a multi-racial one. There are even non-Chinese members holding leadership positions. This is an experience for me," Mahathir said.

He also dispelled aspersions that he is a traitor to Malays since he is now working with DAP, pointing out that Malaysia's founder Tunku Abdul Rahman was seen in many photos with the party.

Mahathir said Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak's father, once invited DAP into BN as well after the May 13, 1969 racial riots.

"If I am considered a traitor, then perhaps Tunku Abdul Rahman and Tun Abdul Razak were traitors as well," he said.

Mahathir said this is how BN is using racist tactics against the Opposition by pitting the Malay community against the allegedly anti-Malay DAP.

He added that the Election Commission's (EC) redelineation proposal is racist as it divides constituencies along racial lines.

At a press conference later, Mahathir, who is also Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) chairman, said the party will be joining Pakatan Harapan soon with the common objective of toppling the BN government.

He said no single Opposition party can achieve that objective on its own and cooperation is the way to go.

"Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak tries to paint the current political battle as Umno vs DAP, but there are other parties in BN as well.

"DAP is also in Pakatan Harapan where there are other parties, and which PPBM will be joining soon," Mahathir said.

Commenting on Mahathir's presence, DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng said the Opposition will work with anyone who cannot accept the government.