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TAIPING: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has welcomed the intention of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to honour the people's five-year mandate for the Barisan Nasional (BN) government to administer the country.
The former prime minister said Najib should use the time left in the mandate (up to April next year) to inspire confidence in the ability and concern of the BN leadership for the people.
"But there's a possibility, if the government allows a longer time to lapse (before calling for the next general election), they may face all kinds of demands, and threats of no support if the demands are not met," he told reporters after opening the 51st annual general meeting of the Islamic Welfare Organisation of Malaysia (Perkim), here.
Yesterday, Najib said there was no question of the BN being insecure about the next general election, following allegations by the opposition that he was intentionally delaying it.
Najib said having the general election too early meant that the BN government would be shortening the term handed to it by the people.
The Umno president and BN chairman emphasised that BN was given a five-year mandate to prove its leadership and administration capability to develop the nation and take care of the people.
Dr Mahathir said his view of the success of BN candidates being determined by Chinese voters was based on reality and not sentiment or other factors.
"Previously, the BN won because we had the Chinese voters' support. When the Malays split, the Chinese determine the winner. When the Chinese split, the Malays determine the winner," he said.
Commenting on claims that the BN was buying the people's support, Dr Mahathir said the cost of living was on the rise and affecting the lives of the poor.
Therefore, any direct monetary assistance from the BN government to the people to ease their burden should not be construed as an attempt to bribe them, he said. Bernama