Dr Mahathir Mohamad has called on the opposition to find a formula which would see BN remain in power without Najib Abdul Razak
"If the opposition is really keen to be rid of Najib, they can only do so if Najib goes but the BN government stays, led by another leader," he said in a blog posting.
The former premier said under previous BN governments, the opposition had always won seats in Parliament and beaten BN in many states.
"Najib's lack of respect for the law and constitution and his willingness to buy off politicians and civil servants may mean the end of parliamentary democracy in Malaysia.
"It can mean no opposition just like as in Umno where opposition to him has been snuffed out," he added.
His remarks come amid claims that a veteran Umno leader is seeking to form a unity government and force Najib out through a vote of no-confidence in Parliament.
Mahathir (photo) also pointed out that possible BN supporters of a no-confidence vote are being named publicly to intimidate them.
“They are being accused of working with the opposition. This is a warning to other BN members not to support the no-confidence vote.
“It may be necessary once again to give BN MPs a holiday in Taiwan,” he said, alluding to what transpired after the 2008 general election when Anwar Ibrahim claimed he had the numbers to form government on Sept 16 of that year.
Vote of confidence is necessary, and legal
Mahathir also said a vote of no-confidence has become imperative.
"A vote of non-confidence is necessary now because Najib has made BN members of Parliament beholden to him by giving them lucrative posts in the government,” he added.
However, he reiterated that the opposition does not have the numbers.
On the same note, Mahathir claimed if the demands for Najib to step down by Umno rank and file is assessed, there would be quite a number of party MPs who would also like to see Najib removed.
“They do not believe the nonsensical explanations about the disappearance of 1MDB money or the RM2.6 billion in Najib’s private accounts.
“These MPs could vote with the opposition in a non-confidence vote.
“It is of course not something BN MPs like to do. They would not like to become instrumental in bringing down a BN government,” he said, hence the need for the opposition to agree to the suggested formula.
Mahathir also slammed Najib and his supporters for trying to paint a picture that a vote of no-confidence against he prime minister is improper and illegal.
"But everyone knows that a vote of non-confidence is absolutely legal," he said.
Precedent set in Perak
The former premier reminded Najib that this was exactly what he did in Perak in 2009.
"Najib seems to have forgotten that BN overthrew the elected government of Perak by claiming it had majority support in the state assembly.
"It should have done so through a vote of no-confidence but BN was not sure that it had majority support if the state assembly.
"So it made out its case before the ruler despite there being no provision in the constitution or laws for a ruler to dismiss an elected government," he said.