PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s shock resignation from the top post as well as from his party today came on the heels of his disagreement with PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin over the composition of a new coalition, FMT has learnt.
A source said Muhyiddin had pushed for the formation of the new coalition, which has come to be known in the media as “Pakatan Nasional”, by including Umno, PAS, MCA, MIC and some PKR MPs.
“But Mahathir did not agree, and this is why he quit PPBM.”
The source said the stand taken by Mahathir was good news for DAP and Amanah, whose parties would be rendered politically irrelevant in the event of an “influx” of Umno and PAS MPs.
“This is also why DAP and Amanah supported Tun,” he added.
The claim appears to corroborate DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s narrative of what transpired at Mahathir’s private residence this morning.
“In objecting to this nefarious attempt to subvert and undermine the people’s mandate given to PH, Dr Mahathir Mohamad had submitted his resignation as prime minister and PPBM chairman.
“Tun Dr Mahathir clearly stated that he cannot work with Umno when we worked so hard to reject Umno successfully in the 2018 general election.”
Mahathir’s resignation as PPBM chairman came about the same time Muhyiddin announced PPBM’s withdrawal from Pakatan Harapan, the coalition of four parties which defeated Barisan Nasional two years ago.
Muhyiddin and a number of PPBM and PKR leaders, including Mohamed Azmin Ali and Zuraida Kamaruddin, had attended last night’s gathering of MPs from both sides of the divide.
Also among them were PPBM Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Kedah menteri besar Mukhriz Mahathir.
However, the source was quick to add that Syed Saddiq and Mukhriz were not part of Muhyiddin’s plan.
The Klang Valley was abuzz yesterday with talk of Mahathir behind a move to form a new coalition comprising Umno and PAS.
The move could spell the end of DAP in federal power, while blocking the promised succession plan in which PKR president Anwar Ibrahim will take over from Mahathir.
Earlier, FMT reported that a new coalition made up of MPs in Umno and PAS did not materialise as there were demands by Umno that Pakatan Harapan leaders felt were “too much”.
“They (Umno leaders) were asking too much, so the talks were halted temporarily. So no announcements were made,” the source told FMT.
It is understood that among others, Umno leaders had wanted party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as well as Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor to be appointed to the top positions of the planned new coalition.
“Their requests were immediately rejected,” he added.
The source also claimed that Umno had proposed former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein to be made a deputy prime minister.