PETALING JAYA: PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin today launched an attack on a former Johor MP for suggesting that he was at loggerheads with Dr Mahathir Mohamad over the choice of candidates in the state.
Muhyiddin said Tawfik Ismail, the son of the late illustrious Umno leader Ismail Abdul Rahman, was ignorant about Johor affairs and had no business commenting about PPBM.
“He does not understand. He is not a PPBM member. I understand that he was previously with G25 but the group has since expelled him,” said Muhyiddin, referring to the group of former prominent civil servants.
In 2015, G25 distanced itself from Tawfik, after he revealed that Muhyiddin had sought the group’s support to topple Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Tawfik made the claim several months after Muhyiddin was sacked from the Cabinet for criticising Najib over allegations of receiving billions of ringgit linked to 1MDB.
Yesterday, Tawfik, commenting on PPBM’s decision not to field his nephew, Tariq Ismail, who heads the party’s Sri Gading division, had said that almost all the candidates for the May 9 polls were “Muhyiddin’s men”. He said the only exception was PPBM Youth chief Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman, who will stand for the “hard to win” Muar parliamentary seat.
“In fact, the whole list for Johor isn’t strong and is designed for defeat,” he told FMT.
Muhyiddin said the selection of candidates was based on a committee chaired by him and other top PPBM leaders including Mahathir.
Tariq has said he accepted the decision not to field him in Sri Gading, to challenge its incumbent Aziz Kaprawi who had won the seat by some 5,700 votes in 2013.
He said the decision would not only allow him to spend time with his family, but also to learn politics from Mahathir.
“I might as well campaign with Tun nationwide. This way I can learn from the best rather than losing my seat. Who is the best person other than Tun Mahathir?”