No political party should rule forever, Malaysia's Mahathir tells forum: Report

"No party should rule forever," Dr Mahathir said.
"No party should rule forever," Dr Mahathir said. PHOTO: REUTERS

KUALA LUMPUR -Malaysia's former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Friday (Nov 27) said no party should be in power forever, adding that the country needed a strong opposition to check against the government and ensure that it did not abuse its power, Malaysian media reported.

"No party should rule forever," Dr Mahathir said during his keynote speech at the Kuala Lumpur Summit 2015 held in Kuala Lumpur.

"The best way is for a country to have just two political parties, this will ensure that one party will win a majority to form the government. For good governance, the opposition must be fairly strong," he was quoted saying by the Malay Mail Online news portal. Having too many political parties would only create divisions among the people, Dr Mahathir added.

Speaking to reporters after the event, the 90-year-old, who is Malaysia's longest-serving leader, clarified that his comments were made in the context of Muslim countries worldwide.

Dr Mahathir said he was giving his views as Malaysia was a country generally seen by the Muslim world as a place where democracy had been successful, the Malaysiakini website reported.

Dr Mahathir said many Muslim countries had failed in their democratic system because of a lack of understanding of its limits and the way the system should work. Democracy could only work, he said, if people are willing to compromise and if they accepted the outcome of elections.

"They must understand that democracy is not a perfect system. It works only when people know the limits and do not to resort to violence whe they are frustrated. Freedom is never absolute, there must be limits to freedom and rights," he said.