Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) knows what needs to be done to help the Malays and the Bumiputera, says its chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Pic by NSTP/AIZUDDIN SAAD

PUTRAJAYA: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) knows what needs to be done to help the Malays and the Bumiputera, says its chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

However, in order to do so, the people have to place their trust in the party.

“What we ask is for them to put their trust in us and be willing to follow measures that will be put into motion by us,” he said in his policy speech at Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (Bersatu) second annual general assembly, held at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre here on Saturday.

Addressing a crowd of more than 1,500 Bersatu delegates from across the country, Dr Mahathir, who is also prime minister, said it is only the Malays who could save themselves.

“We (the Malays) can succeed... We have the capabilities. But unutilised capabilities will not help us become successful,” he said, noting that if one prospers and become successful in all fields, one cannot be suppressed.

Bersatu, Dr Mahathir said, was a temporary defender of the Malays because the true defenders would be the Malays themselves.

Dr Mahathir said the Malays nowadays are confused and have become rudderless.

“Umno is longer in existence. So who and what party can they rely on? If not Bersatu, which other party?” he said, to loud cheers from the crowd.

“Perhaps Pas? I have no comment. (They can) choose Pas. But it is not my choice,” he said.

Bersatu, he said, was formed to ensure the security of the Malays by boosting their capabilities.

“In other words, the Malays have to strive to improve themselves through knowledge and skills. But, they have been left far behind and it is hard for them to play catch up with the other races.

“They believe only their own race can provide them the security and this can be done through politics. This is why there is a need to form a party participated and led by the Malays.

“And, this is why Bersatu was formed as a party for the Malays and the Bumiputera. While we provide them the protection, it will be done without taking away the rights and privileges of the others,” he said.

Dr Mahathir also reminded the delegates on why they had gathered.

“We gather here today not because our constitution requires us to. We are meeting because we want to save the Malays. We meet because we want the Malays to develop. We meet because we want to restore the dignity of our race.”

This, said Dr Mahathir, was the reason behind the politics.

“It’s not about wanting to become the prime minister, minister, menteri besar or chief minister. We are in politics so that we no longer have to depend on politics. We are in politics to save and free ourselves through success, as a race which can compete with anyone, so that each one of us can succeed by ourselves without the need for crutches.

“For this noble cause, sacrifice all. The rewards will be appreciated by our children and grandchildren. They will say that were it not for us, they would be left to fend for themselves by the forests, paupers in their own country.”