PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad never made any decision to pull Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia out of Pakatan Harapan during a Feb 23 meeting which became the centre of political intrigue over recent days, claim two party supreme council members.
According to Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Dr Mahathir made three pleas at the meeting not to leave Pakatan.
"I was at the meeting. Dr Mahathir pleaded three times not to leave Pakatan. Finally, he pleaded, 'please don't force me to go against my principles'.
"I suggest the supreme council show the full audio recording which will prove how Dr Mahathir pleaded not to leave," tweeted the former Bersatu Armada (youth) chief on Tuesday (May 19).
He was referring to an audio recording of a man which emerged on Tuesday – purportedly Dr Mahathir – saying that he dislikes DAP and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and declared Bersatu's official exit from Pakatan.
Meanwhile, Bersatu supreme council member Tariq Ismail claimed that the audio recording was made by "desperate Sheraton factions" to trigger doubt and distrust between Dr Mahathir and Pakatan.
"Although I was among the supreme council members who were present during the emergency meeting on Feb 23, I do not recall that a decision was made to pull out of Pakatan.
"The fact is, the motion to quit Pakatan and cooperate with Muafakat Nasional ended with everyone agreeing to leave the final decision to Dr Mahathir," he said.
In the just under two-minute recording which is making its rounds, the man was heard saying that he needed to know whether those at the meeting agreed for Bersatu's immediate exit from Pakatan or if more time should be allowed to deliberate on it.
"The support from Umno is too fickle and if you give them a bit of time, they might end up liking me.
"We have no differences. It's just that I don't like DAP, Anwar and the others. But that is just a matter of time, should we decide the time or should we take action today?" he asked, and voices could be heard responding "yes, today".
"If it's today, then okay, today. Today, we exit from Pakatan Harapan," the voice was heard saying.
Several parties, believed to be rivalling factions within Bersatu, uploaded excerpts of audio recordings said to be from the Feb 23 Bersatu emergency meeting with Dr Mahathir and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin present.
The series of audio recordings started with one featuring a voice resembling Muhyiddin saying he was entrusting Dr Mahathir to decide on Bersatu's exit from Pakatan, as the 95-year-old's decision should not be disputed given his "wisdom".
Another audio recording then surfaced, featuring a voice resembling Dr Mahathir making an emotional plea to an unknown group of people not to force him to go against his principles and not resign as prime minister.
Feb 23 was believed to be the party's final supreme council meeting before the infamous "Sheraton Move", where Barisan Nasional MPs and defecting Pakatan MPs aligned with Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, met at Sheraton Hotel later that same night.
The "Sheraton Move" was a week-long political impasse which led to the collapse of the Pakatan government and the emergence of the Perikatan Nasional coalition (Barisan, PAS, Gabungan Parti Sarawak), led by Muhyiddin as prime minister.
Bersatu is presently split between the factions of Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin, where the former intends to return to Pakatan while the latter wants to remain in the Perikatan pact.
Open fire between the two factions has intensified in recent days, with a no-confidence motion tabled against Muhyiddin's leadership and Dr Mahathir's son Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir's second fall as Kedah Mentri Besar.
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