: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the time had not come yet for Barisan Nasional (BN) to become one party open to all races in the country.
The former prime minister said the best approach at present was cooperation among the various (BN) component parties representing the different races, under the concept of sharing, that was, sharing of power and the nation's wealth.
"We cannot sideline the parties that represent their communities. Although in BN there are many multiracial parties, in reality they are dominated by only one race.
"If we look at Gerakan, it is called a multiracial party but is dominated by the Chinese. So, we have not reached the stage where we can set aside race and come under one party," he told Bernama, Monday.
Dr Mahatir is here is deliver a public lecture on Global Peace and Conflict Resolution in conjunction with the official opening of the Mahathir Global Peace School at Universitas Muhammadiyah Yogyakarta.
He said BN should not be hasty in accepting suggestions on the set-up and and form of the party for the future as all these suggestions must be studied in depth on the positive and negative effects.
"For instance, there is a proposal to have only one party (for BN components) that will be open to all races. We cannot be sure yet whether such a party can function or not.
"DAP is claimed to be a multiracial party but it is actually controlled by the Chinese. It is the same with PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) which is controlled by the Malays.
"Hence, it is usually the case where a party was set up as multiracial but one race dominates, so this does not make the party multiracial," he said.
On whether BN could accept the entry of opposition parties into its fold like in the days of the Alliance, Dr Mahathir said BN was open to opposition parties but they must set aside their principles that were in conflict with BN's struggles.
On Umno's performance in the 13th general election (GE13) last month, he said although the party won the most seats for BN, it still had many weaknesses.
"Umno's victory this time was not due to its strength or unity within the party, but the fear of the Malays, especially if the party led by (Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim together with DAP would form the government.
"If they have managed to form the government in Malaysia, the Malays will be worse off. That was why most of the Malay voters gave their support to Umno in the GE13," he said.