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Behind closed doors, Dr M blames Muhyiddin and Anwar

Published
Modified 1 Mar 2020, 2:07 pm

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today blamed Muhyiddin Yassin for manufacturing a political crisis which resulted in the latter being anointed as the new prime minister.

He also said he was sad that he could not secure the needed numbers midway through the crisis to be reappointed prime minister because PKR, DAP and Amanah's 92 MPs backed Anwar Ibrahim.

This was said during a closed-door meeting with Bersatu members in Putrajaya that was live-streamed on Amanah's official Facebook page, perhaps unintentionally.

Mahathir said Pakatan Harapan was not in crisis and accused Muhyiddin (photo) of using Anwar as an excuse to manufacture one.

He said one of his political secretaries had told him that Anwar was about to demand the deputy prime minister's position during the Harapan presidential council on Feb 21.

This apparently made Mahathir and party leaders very angry, but that scenario never materialised.

"Instead, (that didn't happen as) all (Harapan) leaders supported me. He (Muhyiddin) needed a reason to create a crisis.

"When he took (Bersatu) out of Harapan, there is when the crisis started," said Mahathir, to a question from the floor on Muhyiddin and Anwar.

Mahathir went on to explain how his plans to be reappointed prime minister midway through the crisis was thwarted by Anwar.

According to Mahathir, Anwar had secured the support of 92 Harapan MPs to be prime minister when they were interviewed by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong last Wednesday.

At the time, Mahathir was proposing that he become prime minister of a unity government. Harapan rejected it on grounds that such a government would void their election manifesto and place too much power on the prime minister without accountability.

"I was very sad that I lost because he (Anwar) got Harapan to nominate him. He had 92. I had 60 or more. We could have had the majority.

"He wanted to be the candidate, even though he should have known he could not have gotten it.

"He believed that fallacy because he wanted (to be prime minister)," said Mahathir.

Anwar and Harapan only got behind Mahathir on Friday evening after Muhyiddin managed to secure the support of the bulk of Bersatu MPs, in alliance with MPs from Umno, PAS, Gabungan Parti Sarawak and a few smaller parties.

Despite the eleventh hour mad dash by Harapan to secure the numbers, Istana Negara announced that Muhyiddin had already won the race.

Muhyiddin was sworn in as the country's eighth prime minister this morning.

Mahathir said Muhyiddin was a traitor for his willingness to work with Najib Abdul Razak, who is now facing trial.

"Muhyiddin was willing to help because he wanted to be prime minister," said the former premier.

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