|Harakahdaily,||19 August 2013|
Armed with his familiar wit in front of the press, former UMNO strongman Dr Mahathir Mohamad again has less than complimentary things to say about the party he once led.
Yesterday, he told ‘old warlords’ in UMNO to make way for the younger generation.
“I think they have to make evaluation on themselves because the party is getting older. A lot of leaders have been there for too long. Young people don’t find this attractive,” the former prime minister said during a Hari Raya open house he hosted.
Mahathir said UMNO’s greatest fear was intelligent and young people, saying the leaders feared this category coming into party folds.
“Some are afraid that people with calibre could threaten their position. So these people don’t join UMNO. That’s why many are in PAS now,” he said.
Mahathir noted that in recent times, many from among the intellectuals, professionals and notable retirees, had flocked to PAS.
The 88 year-old said UMNO’s image took a beating following corruption allegations coupled with a culture of ‘sabotage’ and political leaders looking after their personal interests.
“The loyalty now is not to the party but to individual. They say, if their people cannot go up, don’t let others win,” he chided.
Earlier, Mahathir warned Malays not to ‘sabotage’ UMNO, despite acknowledging that the party had lost touch with the Malays as its members pursued individual interests.
“Members are bribed with money, overseas trips and umrah sponsorship. With that, all UMNO members are involved in bribery by selling their votes for money,” he said.
Yet, Mahathir concluded that UMNO was still the choice to look after the Malays.