PETALING JAYA: Former PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad has alleged that the party he co-founded is now “weak and afraid of Umno”.
Speaking at an election rally ahead of the Slim by-election last night, Mahathir claimed that the current crop of PPBM leaders were willing to forego their morals for government positions.
Mahathir stepped down as PPBM chairman on Feb 24, just hours after submitting his resignation letter as prime minister amid speculation that a new coalition comprising MPs from both sides of the divide would form a new federal government.
PPBM co-founder Muhyiddin Yassin then announced PPBM had quit the ruling Pakatan Harapan administration, with the former home minister eventually going on to head the Perikatan Nasional government with the support of Umno, PAS and other parties.
“Look at how PPBM and Muhyiddin have become weak and afraid of Umno now,” said Mahathir last night.
“The PPBM leaders and members should have returned to us, but they say ‘I have become a minister, I cannot leave.’
“They want to be ministers. That is their fight.”
He was speaking at a rally in Felda Trolak Utara, Perak, ahead of Sunday’s Slim by-elections.
Mahathir said the current attitude within PPBM was a key reason he decided to form a new political party, Pejuang.
Claiming that PPBM members were now more interested in “filling pockets” than championing race, religion and country, he said he trusted independent candidate Amir Khusyairi Mohamad Tanusi to stand by Pejuang if elected.
He said he had asked Amir whether he would switch political alliances and the candidate said he would not.
“In this new party we have formed, Pejuang, we have all promised not to put ourselves up for sale if elected to represent the people,” he added.
Amir is contesting against Tanjung Malim Umno chief Mohd Zaidi Aziz and independent S Santharasekaran.
The by-election was called following the death, on July 15, of its four-term assemblyman, Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib of BN.