PONTIAN: Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the people should not allow themselves to be fooled into thinking that he is still the leader of the opposition Barisan Nasional (BN).
He said BN was trying to portray that impression to confuse the people in the ongoing Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election campaign.
“One such lie is a picture of me as the prime minister clad in blue attire and that I am Umno president and BN chairman.
“I am no more the Umno president and BN chairman. I am the prime minister of the PH government. There are some who still remember me as Umno president, I am (now) the PH chairman and I was chosen to be the prime minister,” he said in his speech at a breakfast event with non-governmental organisations in Pekan Nanas here, yesterday.
There are claims that there were still some residents in Tanjung Piai, especially those from the outskirts, who were still under the impression that Dr Mahathir was leading BN and Umno.
His presence in Pontian was to clarify that misperception and to also urge them to throw their support behind PH candidate Karmaine Sardini, 66.
Polling in the by-election takes place this Saturday.
In a media conference after the event, Dr Mahathir said the PH camp had also come across leaflets with Karmaine’s picture and the ‘Buy Muslim First’ logo on them, which the premier added was clearly not part of PH’s campaign material.
“I hope the people here would not be duped by BN’s incitements, (as) the party lies in many ways. The other day, they showed pictures of me clad in blue attire and it looked like I was campaigning for the BN candidate.
“This is a lie. Today, there are leaflets seeking support for Haji Karmaine but with a ‘Buy Muslim First’ logo on it as well. All done just to anger the Chinese,” the prime minister said.
Nevertheless, Dr Mahathir said he was not worried that these lies would go on to hoodwink the Tanjung Piai electorate, adding that the people were much smarter than that.
“The Tanjung Piai voters are not stupid. They have gone through 14 (general) elections. They are well versed with trickery. This time around, BN is lying. We find that Tanjung Piai folks are very careful in these matters (elections),” Dr Mahathir said when asked whether the people could possibly fall for the Opposition’s tricks.
The by-election will see a six-cornered fight between Karmaine, Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng (BN), Wendy Subramaniam (Gerakan), Datuk Dr Badhrulhisham Abdul Aziz (Berjasa) and two independent candidates — Dr Ang Chuan Lock and Faridah Aryani Abd Ghaffar. – Bernama