Three PKR defectors claim Dr M's speech vindicates them

Modified 26 Feb 2020, 10:43 am

Three MPs who were part of a bloc that defected out of PKR in a failed attempt to form "Perikatan Nasional" claimed that interim Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad's national address today has vindicated them.

"We are vindicated by his statement which reflects exactly what we had said yesterday. Tun's statement has reinforced our stance that reconciliation and healing are paramount.

"We reiterate our fullest support for this old wise man to lead the nation as our economy is getting a battering by global issues and now, our country's political impasse.

"He has the experience and he had saved our country from global financial crisis once before," they said in a joint statement.

The statement was signed by Selangau MP Baru Bian (above), Saratok MP Ali Biju and Puncak Borneo MP Willie Mongin.

Mahathir, in a six-minute live address today, apologised for the political turmoil and indicated his intention to form a new government that does not follow party lines.

In his speech, Mahathir (below) had also said that his Pakatan Harapan government collapsed after his own party Bersatu and defectors from other component parties decided to switch sides.

"I asked to be given time. But my party Bersatu has decided to leave Pakatan Harapan. There are also members of other component parties who will leave. With this development, the Pakatan Harapan government will dissolve.

"The effect of Bersatu supporting PAS and Umno is that parties that have lost will form the government. This government will be dominated by Umno, as it is the biggest party," he said.

Mahathir said he found a government dominated by Umno to be unacceptable.

The PKR defectors, led by Gombak MP Azmin Ali, had last Sunday tried to form a new coalition with Bersatu, BN, PAS, Warisan and GPS with Mahathir still as the prime minister.

However, this was scuttled when Mahathir abruptly resigned as prime minister. He was reappointed as interim prime minister.

He is now struggling to form a government without conforming along party lines, which has not been well received by both sides of the political divide.

The trio defectors say they back Mahathir's move.

"These past few days, the numbers game has put a strain on everyone and unnecessarily stressed the nation.

"We, therefore, welcome Tun's formula of a national government that is inclusive and non-partisan. This is a new direction for our country which we wholly welcome.

"The best and wisest way forward is to rise up from this quagmire of instability and build bridges across all sides. Reconciliation is not just a fine word but real action that we must all take in order to bring healing to this nation now.

"Again, we ask you to trust us as we navigate a course out of this unfortunate situation. Our priority now is to stabilise the political situation.

"Do not believe everything you read online. Too many false rumours and conspiracy theories are making the rounds. Wait to hear from us to know the truth and what actually transpired," they said.

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