The new party to be set up by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad is a challenge to Umno and BN to become more successful, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Said Keruak.

He welcomed Mahathir's move, saying that countries like Japan and Germany excelled because they had to struggle to survive, whereas empires such as Britain faded away due to rot and complacency.

"Competition is good when it makes you aware that unless you buck up and work harder, you face the risk of defeat.

"So maybe Mahathir is doing Umno and BN a favour by offering us some competition," he said in his latest blog entry.

The newly-appointed Umno treasurer, however, said that Mahathir's decision had proved clearly the former premier was not trying to save Umno, but destroying it instead.

"Mahathir has finally admitted that the only way to change the government is in a general election. Of course, Mahathir will not admit that he is trying to change the government.

"He claims he is just trying to remove Prime Minister Najib Razak to save Umno, BN and Malaysia.

"It is strange that someone would want to save the party that he claims he still loves, by trying to destroy it. It is like saying that you want to save humanity by destroying the world," he added.

- Bernama

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