Najib can count on Dr Mahathir's support in the coming general election. AP pic
KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he is keen to campaign for Barisan Nasional in the next general election, adding he believes Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is supportive of it.
The former Prime Minister said he was especially keen to meet up with Umno divisional and other grassroots leaders whom he felt among some of them, were still besieged with disunity and factionalism.
“I want to meet them and hopefully be able to advise them that they must unite and stop the backstabbing to ensure the party will do well in the elections,” Dr Mahathir told The Mole.
He was commenting on blog reports that he had agreed to assist Najib in the coming general elections.
Asked when he planned to start to campaign for Umno and Barisan, Dr Mahathir said he was prepared to start at any time and has offered himself to carry out the task to Najib and the Umno leadership.
The participation of Dr Mahathir in the next election is much anticipated by Umno grassroots, as they believed he would help the party regain grounds they lost in the 2008 general election.
Many Umno members had then turned their back on the party because they shared Dr Mahathir’s disgust with the Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi leadership.
With Dr Mahathir publicly showing his support for Najib, Umno members were confident the party would be able to rally around the new leadership in the general election.
However, there were some who felt that the Umno hierarchy were dragging their feet in taking up Dr Mahathir’s offer to campaign and the lack of urgency may be the party’s undoing.
Prominent blogger Datuk Ahirudin Attan a.k.a Rocky had, in a posting on Tuesday, said that Dr Mahathir would most probably throw in his support behind Najib in the next general election.
The next general election, the 13th since Independence in 1957, is widely expected to be called within the next six months although the current government's five-year term would only expire in March 2013.