Focus on people's needs, not self-interest: Mahathir

Tun Dr Mahathir is chairman of the three-year-old Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), one of the four parties under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition that governs Malaysia.
Tun Dr Mahathir is chairman of the three-year-old Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), one of the four parties under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition that governs Malaysia. PHOTO: REUTERS

SERDANG (Selangor) • Malaysian leaders should fight to improve the lot of voters and not for their personal interest or high positions, said Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad yesterday.

"We do not fight for our own interests, but we fight for race, religion and the country, so when we succeed, we will be looked upon highly and respected after sharing all the benefits among us," he said in the opening speech at his party's extraordinary general meeting (EGM) attended by 1,215 delegates.

Tun Dr Mahathir is chairman of the three-year-old Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), one of the four parties under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition that governs Malaysia.

His speech was made amid bitter infighting between the two top leaders of PH member Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

The rivalry between PKR president Anwar Ibrahim and his deputy Azmin Ali is widely seen as a tussle over who would become the next prime minister after Dr Mahathir.

The Premier warned that leaders who lost sight of who they should fight for would be rejected by voters.

"People will reject us and look down on us with disgust. Let us not be like Umno. We fight for party's struggle, not for our self-interest.

"We always have to remember that the rakyat (people) will not support those who fight for their personal interests," he reiterated.

 
 

The EGM approved constitutional changes to allow an 18-month delay in party polls, among others.

These will be its first internal elections since PPBM was formed in 2016.

On the constitutional amendments, Dr Mahathir said these were done to further strengthen the party.

The meeting agreed to have a one-man, one-vote system to elect branch and divisional leaders. But chiefs of the main PPBM Supreme Council will be chosen by delegates voting at the party congress.

PPBM deputy chairman Mukhriz Mahathir said the party hopes to hold its first polls by June next year.

THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on July 21, 2019, with the headline 'Focus on people's needs, not self-interest: Mahathir'. Print Edition | Subscribe