Dr M asked us to find ways to leave PH, says his former aide

Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s former political secretary Muhammad Zahid Md Arip says the former prime minister didn’t want Anwar Ibrahim to become the next PM.

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s former political secretary today said the former prime minister had asked PPBM leaders to “find ways” of exiting Pakatan Harapan, reducing the reliance on DAP and indicated he did not want Anwar Ibrahim to be PM.

Muhammad Zahid Md Arip said that he was one of the PPBM leaders who assisted Mahathir in bringing the party out from PH, adding that the move was also aimed at reducing the public’s confidence in DAP.

“I had even arranged for several leaders from other Malay parties to meet Tun (Mahathir) at his house.

“Sometimes, their meetings lasted over an hour,” he said in a video interview today.

Yesterday, PPBM secretary-general Hamzah Zainuddin said Mahathir had previously instructed him to look for ways to leave PH.

He said he and other PPBM leaders agreed to Mahathir’s request and “the rest is history”.

Zahid added the meetings between Mahathir and the leaders could not be considered merely as “courtesy calls” but were meetings held to realise the ambitions of the former PM.

“He also said he doesn’t want Anwar Ibrahim to succeed him. I asked him openly about this and he shook his head in response,” he said.

To questions on claims that party president Muhyiddin Yassin unilaterally brought PPBM out from PH without going through discussions, Zahid said Muhyiddin could not make such a major decision on his own.

“The decision to leave PH was discussed at length in the Supreme Council. I can confirm it because I am one of the council members.

“What we did not discuss was forming a unity government,” he added.

PPBM had on Thursday terminated the membership of Mahathir, Mukhriz Mahathir, Maszlee Malik, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and Amiruddin Hamzah, expressing regret that they had sat with the opposition bloc during the May 18 one-day sitting of the Dewan Rakyat.

Hamzah also said there had been several complaints lodged against Mahathir, after he declared that he would remain with PH even after the Perikatan Nasional government had been formed under Muhyiddin.

Hamzah said Mahathir had also issued a joint statement with leaders from PH urging for the recent Dewan Rakyat sitting to be extended to more than one day.

Mahathir, he said, had also sought a motion of no confidence against Muhyiddin.

Mahathir yesterday appeared at PPBM headquarters here, after the termination letters against him and four others went viral.

The Registrar of Societies had earlier confirmed that Mahathir is no longer the chairman of PPBM following his resignation amid political turmoil in late February.

It said the PPBM president (Muhyiddin) has the right to act as chairman until elections are held. The party elections have been delayed due to the Covid-19 situation in the country.

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