BN Will Win Next General Election With Better Majority, Says Dr Mahathir
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has predicted that the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government will win the next general election with a better majority compared to the 2008 elections.
He said it was because currently, the government was still strong and perhaps the winning margin should be a good one.
“I hate to predict this thing because it may not be accepted very well, but I think winning strongly is very important…in the next general election. The government will still win and the majority may be slightly better than in 2008,” he said when asked about his prediction of the next general election.
Dr Mahathir had earlier delivered a keynote address entitled “The Malaysian Political Landscape – Experiences, Perspectives and Thoughts” at the third Malaysia-Europe Forum (MEF) Kuala Lumpur Dialogue 2010.
Earlier in his speech, he said the 2008 elections saw BN doing very badly because it lost five states and Kuala Lumpur, besides failing to get the two- third majority needed to form a strong government.
“The 2008 general election showed clearly that BN had lost the support not only of the sympathisers but also the members of the component parties. Even BN strongholds were lost,” said Dr Mahathir, who was prime minister for 22 years.
He said few dared to openly criticise the leader or the government of the fifth prime minister (his successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi), but after the 2008 elections they felt that the leadership was mostly to be blamed for the debacle and they demanded for a change of leadership.
“Known critics were prevented from speaking at meetings organised by the party, non-governmental organisations or individuals. Realising that the government feared criticisms, the opposition kept up a barrage,” he added.
Speaking on democracy, Dr Mahathir said Malaysia was not a liberal democracy because there were limitations on the so-called democratic freedoms, but Malaysia had shown that its democracy was free enough for those opposed to the government to win in elections and even to defeat the government parties and take over the governance of some states.
“Democracy is perhaps the best political system ever devised by man, but like everything else devised by man, it is not perfect. Certainly liberal democracy will not work with people who’ve only known authoritarian rule or are corrupt by nature.
“Malaysia is not the perfect model of a democracy but the electorate can, if they so wish, change the government simply by voting in free elections. That is the essence of democracy,” he said.