Dr Mahathir Mohamad today invited all Malay parties including Umno to join Bersatu in efforts to unite the Malays.
The Bersatu chairperson said that he found more and more Malay parties were being formed which reduced the potentials of the Malay parties to win the election.
“Yes, join Bersatu. When our group is big, we become strong, but don't stop others from joining the party (Bersatu), let them join.
“If we are split, we become weak, united we stand, divided we fall (bercerai roboh, bersatu teguh). (But) we find that there are people forming new parties, (now) we have become six, soon there will be 10, (then) 100. There are 30 people in one party, how to win (the election)?” he told reporters after attending the Johor Bersatu Aidilfitri open house gathering at the Dewan Serbaguna in Johor Jaya this afternoon.
The prime minister said this when asked whether he was inviting all the existing Malay parties to join Bersatu to strengthen the Malays.
When asked whether there will be objections from other Pakatan Harapan component parties, Mahathir said: “That is their problem. We have no connection with other parties. Although (they are) in Pakatan Harapan, they too get new members.”
Earlier in his speech, Mahathir said that in the past, there was only one party representing the Malays.
“All the Malays joined Umno, but because of their greed for positions, today the Malays are broken into six (parties). Six, no longer the majority for 60 percent, but each party only has 10 percent,” he said.
Because the Malays have been divided, so they are no longer strong as before, the prime minister added.
Loyalty to party, not leader
Mahathir also reminded all party members to maintain their loyalty to the party and the party's struggles instead of being loyal to a certain leader.
He also reminded the party's leadership line-up to take the episode of Umno's loss in Johor, which was known to be the party's "stronghold”, as an important lesson.
“What is obvious is that no matter how strong the party is, if it had strayed, it would become weak. This is the lesson that we get from the Johor incident.
“That is why we have to be careful so that our party retains our struggles. We can change leaders but it is not easy to change the struggles. When we do such a thing, even whatever strength (we have), the party will crumble.
"That is the lesson that we learn; although it was a fortress previously, it can be penetrated when it is weak,” Mahathir added.
The prime minister, who arrived at 5.05pm, was greeted by Bersatu deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir and Johor Bersatu chairperson Mazlan Bujang.
He was later seen spending almost 15 minutes shaking hands with party members at the open house gathering.
Apart from enjoying Hari Raya delicacies, Mahathir was also entertained by a “zapin” dance troupe and songs from artiste Ayai Ilusi.