Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is belittling PAS because he feels threatened by the party’s influence, said party central committee member Dr Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki.
He described the former prime minister as a “political dictator” who wants the Opposition to bow to his will but sees PAS as the only party that can derail his plans.
“Now he (Dr Mahathir) has positioned himself as the head of Parti Pribumi, PKR, DAP and Amanah. In other words, he is the real leader of the Opposition.
“The only one who can threaten his dictatorship is PAS, because PAS is the biggest political party after Umno.
“This is why Dr Mahathir does not welcome PAS, whereas (Pribumi president) Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin hopes for a relationship,” Dr Mohd Zuhdi said in a statement Sunday.
He was responding to remarks the former prime minister made in an interview with Singapore’s The Straits Times, which was published on Sunday.
Dr Mahathir, who is Pribumi chairman, had said that the Opposition did not need PAS and would be able to beat them in the general election.
At an event organised by Parti Amanah Negara on Saturday night, Dr Mahathir also spoke about negotiations with PAS to rejoin the Opposition pact, saying Pribumi would meet soon to finalise the matter.
Dr Mohd Zuhdi, who is PAS research director, said it is Dr Mahathir’s nature to be confrontational with past and present leaders because they threaten his position.
“He has succeeded in drowning (PKR de facto leader) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, he has tamed (DAP adviser) Lim Kit Siang, and emasculated (Amanah president) Mohamad Sabu.”
Dr Mohd Zuhdi also said that the Islamist party’s consistent policy of championing syariah principles and defending the rights of the Malays goes against Dr Mahathir’s present strategy.
“This is an additional factor why Dr Mahathir cannot welcome any relations with PAS,” he added.