GEORGETOWN, April 30, 2015:PKR was established for the management of a family, hence it could not be considered as a political party, said former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today. “The party (PKR) will always place importance on family members. It supports family members in that way,” he said with his trademark cynicism without naming names, but was referring to PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and his family. Dr Mahathir said this after the Cakna Ilmu ‘Mendepani Pemikiran Tun Mahathir’ programme at the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) here.

The former premier was also asked by reporters on the chances of Barisan Nasional winning the upcoming Permatang Pauh by-election, to which Dr Mahathir said the party stood a strong chance of wrestling back the parliamentary seat from the Opposition. The elder statesman said this was due to the Pakatan Rakyat coalition having serious internal problems, especially with its stance on the hudud issue. Dr Mahathir explained that this was due to the hudud issue which was not supported by PKR and its coalition partner PAS might not support it in the campaign. “This is an opportunity for BN.”

He also believed BN would stand a chance to win and did not need his help for the Permatang Pauh by-election campaigning, when asked if he would go to the constituency.

On a separate matter, Dr Mahathir said he asked to be given a platform to meet with Umno members regarding his criticism of the party’s president (Datuk Seri Najib Razak).

He said Umno members would immediately reject his opinions without listening to his explanation if this chance was not given.

Dr Mahathir said if they (Umno members) listen to only one source, then it would not be a wise and fair consideration.

“In the courts of law, we will hear both the prosecution and defence in their arguments,” he said, adding that in his case, he was not given a fair chance to explain his criticisms.

On the suggestion by certain parties to elect veteran politician and Gua Musang Member of Parliament Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah as Najib’s sucessor, Dr Mahathir said it was up to the Umno members to make that decision.

However, he did express his feelings that the present voting system for the Umno Supreme Council seat was not appropriate.

“It would appear that hundreds of thousands are eligible to vote, but the decision lies with about 190 to 200 divisions. This shows that the actual deciding numbers are far lower than before. “Previously, delegates who attended the meeting, were the ones who voted. Now that is not the case. “In terms of popular votes, yes one person wins, but in terms of divisions, there are only about 200 divisions which means 200 divisions decide on who would win or lose. “Don’t do it like this. It’s not nice,” he added.

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