Dr M: I quit as chairman in February because party rejected me

  • Nation
  • Monday, 11 May 2020

PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says he quit as chairman of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) back in February, as the party rejected him and made a decision that went against his advice.

The former prime minister said he was against a decision to leave Pakatan Harapan, as it was baseless to do so since he had the support of the coalition that won the 14th general election in May 2018.

“This meant that the party had lost faith in me, and in that situation, I could not remain as the chairman of Bersatu. This was because of the actions of my party, ” he said in a video message posted on his social media pages on Monday (May 11).

Dr Mahathir said that in a meeting on February 21, Pakatan Harapan had given him full discretion when to step down as prime minister.

“I told (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin (Yassin) that there is no reason to leave Pakatan Harapan, as I have their full support.

“We should wait and see if there are any reasons to leave, but he was of the opinion that we had to leave Pakatan on that day because the Malays would be destroyed by DAP.

“I didn’t think DAP could easily destroy the Malays. That is why I told him to wait, to give it a bit of time, ” he said.

He announced his resignation as the prime minister and as Bersatu chairman on February 24.

According to Dr Mahathir, he told Muhyiddin to think properly about leaving Pakatan, as it was with their support that they had won the election.

“It wasn’t proper to leave them and to work with the parties that lost the election, parties that were involved in corruption and stealing money.

"We reject our own party and work with the party that lost. The party that was led by (Datuk Sri) Najib (Razak) would be the government, ” he said.

He said because his advice was rejected, he made the decision to quit his positions as both Bersatu and Pakatan chairman, although many people came to him and asked him to reconsider his decision.

“I came back as Bersatu chairman, but not as chairman of Pakatan Harapan because we had left the coalition and they fell because of our decision, ” he said.

Recently, Bersatu's information chief Mohd Radzi Md Jidin claimed that Dr Mahathir was in the know and supported the decision to leave Pakatan.

He said Bersatu's supreme council had decided to leave Pakatan and form a new political alliance with other parties.

Radzi claimed the decision was not made in haste. In fact, it was decided at various leadership levels in the party several months before and was finalised in Bersatu's political bureau meeting on February 21.

He also said in a special supreme council meeting on February 24, Dr Mahathir's resignation was not accepted, but after checking the party's constitution, they found there was no allocation that allowed the supreme council to return the chairman post to the person who resigned.

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