SHAH ALAM, 9 June 2009: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the opposition was necessary as a reflection of the government.
“It’s not healthy to have a one-party state. We need to have the opposition. Otherwise, we won’t have a ‘mirror’ to see whether we look good or not,” he said at a news conference today.
He was asked to comment on the proposal by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang at the party’s 55th general assembly last week on the setting up of a unity government.
Dr Mahathir said the proposed unity government was unclear, whether it was to be between PAS and Umno or between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat.
“If unity is just among Malay [Malaysians], Chinese [Malaysians] with Chinese [Malaysians], and Indian [Malaysians] with Indian [Malaysians], we’ll be divided into three groups. I don’t know…but it’s not my problem, I’m already retired.
“In those days when we formed BN, we invited all parties to join except DAP. PAS also joined BN but later split from the coalition as it used its power in government to strengthen the party and not BN,” he said.
Asked how a unity government could benefit the country, Dr Mahathir said it would only bring good if both sides were sincere about doing it in the nation’s interest.
“But it’s sometimes difficult for politicians to be sincere. I’m also a politician, you know,” he said, smiling.
Earlier, Dr Mahathir launched a pilot plant of Green Base Utama Sdn Bhd in Section 28 here which turned discarded plastic items into biofuel.
He said the technology used by the company appeared to be able to solve the problem of plastic waste dumping although it was still a pilot project.
Green Base Utama chairperson Tan Sri Abdul Halil Abdul Mutalib said the pilot plant could produce 5,000 litres of biofuel daily, with the fuel containing almost no sulphur, hence making it cleaner.
“So far, we have received orders from Sarawak Fertiliser Sdn Bhd which is willing to pay the price offered,” he said.
Abdul Halil said interested parties including investors and the local authorities were welcome to cooperate with the company in the venture or buy its fuel.
He said the company’s biofuel was being sold at RM1.40 to RM1.50 per litre, which was lower than the market price of RM1.80 per litre. — Bernama