PUTRAJAYA, May 7 – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he was shocked by Barisan Nasional’s poor performance in Election 2013, and laid the blame on ‘ungrateful’ Chinese and ‘greedy’ Malay voters.
He said there was clearly a “Chinese tsunami,” using a phrase used by Datuk Seri Najib Razak immediately after Sunday’s election results showed BN had fared worse that in 2008.
“Most of the Chinese had rejected the Malays’ hands of friendship ... And that was what we call the ‘tsunami’,” Dr Mahahthir (picture) said in a press conference here after Election 2013.
“At the same time, we cannot deny Malays who have become greedy. They all want power without considering the means, if they needed to sell out their race they will sell it out.”
He blamed Malay politicians for using the polls just as a means to be elected MP and gain personal benefits, instead of a way to form a government and defend their race, religion, and motherland.
Dr Mahathir also accused DAP of inciting hatred towards Malays in its campaign for Gelang Patah, which had then spread to the Chinese all across the country contributing to BN’s losses.
The former prime minister expressed concern that BN component party MCA will not be participating in state and federal cabinet posts, which he claimed will mean no representation for the Chinese in the government.
“Do we forget about them altogether or do we find some candidates? ... If there is no Chinese representative, the situation will not be good for government and country,” he said.
Claiming that forming multiracial parties is not possible and a coalition of racial parties is the best way for Malaysia, Dr Mahathir warned that BN will break down if MCA withdraws.
BN chairman Najib had today dismissed polls data showing an urban-rural divide and defended Utusan Malaysia against accusations of racism after the Umno-owned paper blamed the Chinese for the coalition’s poor showing in the May 5 polls.
Analysts have said data from voting trends showed the outcome of Election 2013 was not simply the result of a “Chinese tsunami” as Datuk Seri Najib Razak has claimed but a major swing in the urban and middle-class electorate that saw Malaysia’s urban-rural rift widen.
But Utusan Malaysia, a newspaper that has represented the right-wing forces aligned largely with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, decided today to publish a number of stories blaming the Chinese for dividing Malaysia.
Umno’s Utusan Malaysia front-paged today the question “Apa lagi Cina mahu (What else do the Chinese want?) in what appeared to be an attempt to shape the results of Election 2013 as a Chinese-vs-Malay vote.
In Sunday’s elections, BN won 133 out of 222 federal seats, short of a two-thirds majority and worse than in the previous polls.
It also lost the popular votes to Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties, and was bested on the popularity front for the first time since 1969, when it had contested as the Alliance Party.
For federal seats, BN polled 5,237,699 votes to the Pakatan Rakyat parties’ combined 5,623,984 ballots. The three-party pact of PKR, PAS and DAP also surpassed BN in state seats, pulling in 4,879,699 to the 13-member coalition’s 4,513,997 ballots.
Voting data showed urban voters of different races abandoned support for BN with the coalition winning the elections on the back of solid support from rural Malays and voters from Sabah and Sarawak.