PETALING JAYA: Ex-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said he may only consider meeting Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin if the latter agrees not to work with corrupt Umno members.
He confirmed receiving a letter from Muhyiddin seeking a meeting, after the two had split over Muhyiddin’s move to form a new government in partnership with Umno, PAS and others.
“I don’t see any reason why I should meet him. Unless he is willing to throw (away) all these people, then (we) can meet. Even that, I will have to consider it first,” Mahathir said after meeting PPBM members in Langkawi.
He said it was difficult to make peace with Muhyiddin while he was still working with those who have been accused of stealing billions of ringgit.
“If Umno members want to join Bersatu (PPBM), I am ready to accept them, on condition that they leave Umno,” he said but noted that Muhyiddin had been willing to work with Umno en bloc.
“So I cannot accept that,” he added. “I have explained to him before, I have told him my stand. I have not changed. I promised I won’t work (with Umno).”
Mahathir had been asked by reporters in Langkawi about a statement by PPBM Supreme Council member Wan Saiful Wan Jan that Muhyiddin had written to Mahathir requesting a meeting.
Wan Saiful added the majority of PPBM members wanted the party leadership to reunite after the party left Pakatan Harapan, resulting in Muhyiddin being appointed as the prime minister.
Muhyiddin has forged an alliance with BN, PAS and Gabungan Parti Sarawak.
Mahathir: Muyhiddin often said he didn’t want to be PM
Mahathir, continuing his tirade against Muhyiddin, said Muhyiddin had often stated that he did not want to be PM, even though no one had brought up his name in connection with the the top position.
“When we had meetings, he always said I don’t want to be the prime minister. But no one suggested for him to be the prime minister. But he still told me he does not want to be the prime minister,” Mahathir told reporters.
He said Muhyiddin’s actions clearly showed that he always wanted to be the prime minister, and similarly when Muhyiddin said he did not want to work with Umno.
“Now he is willing to place himself under Umno. I have never placed myself under the DAP,” Mahathir said. Political critics have often accused his government of having been dominated by the DAP.
Mahathir said former prime minister Najib Razak, after losing the 2018 general election, had said Pakatan Harapan was controlled by DAP.He had created such stories to woo Malay voters, but some MPs of PPBM had bought into Najib’s reasons.
“DAP has how many people? We have how many people? In the Cabinet we have more (MPs) than DAP,” he said.
Mahathir said it was crucial for PH to keep the rakyat’s mandate and trust. “If the rakyat wants change, then wait till the general election, then change.
He said the new Cabinet being formed by PN would result in a return to the days of kleptocracy, with Umno forming the majority in Muhyiddin’s government.
Perikatan Nasional comprises BN with PPBM, PAS and GPS and several independent MPs. Mahathir and his bloc of PPBM members back Pakatan Harapan, which comprises DAP, PKR and Amanah. The coalition has the support of Warisan , Upko and PSB.