Salleh Said Keruak
It is most ironical that last night in his speech in Gelang Patah Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad did a complete U-turn from his May 2013 stance. In 2013, Mahathir called Lim Kit Siang a racist and asked that he be ‘buried’ in Gelang Patah.
“I have explained in my blog that DAP is not a Chinese chauvinist party. It is a multiracial party that is open to all races. I also noticed that DAP is much more Malaysian than any other government party. That is why I now work with DAP, because I feel comfortable with DAP,” said Mahathir last night.
For more than 44 years, from 1969 to 2013, Mahathir has been consistent in condemning DAP and its Chinese supporters. In 1969, Mahathir said he does not need Chinese votes to win the election and just based on Malay votes alone he can win. The Chinese then decided to vote for PAS and Yusof Rawa won instead. Mahathir then retaliated by writing his anti-Chinese book, The Malay Dilemma, which was banned by the government.
One thing that Mahathir has been very consistent about is his stand on DAP. Soon after the 2013 general election Mahathir attacked Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for ‘wasting time’ on the Chinese voters, who would never vote for Barisan Nasional anyway, instead of focusing just on the Malay voters who are the backbone of the support for Umno.
Why this sudden and very drastic U-turn after more than 44 years of hating DAP? We can only assume that in his desperation Mahathir is scraping the bottom of the barrel because he realises that unless his party and Pakatan Harapan can get Chinese support they are going to get wiped out in the next general election because they have already lost the support of the Malay electorate.