PETALING JAYA: On May 18, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and four others plotted to oust Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin together with opposition Pakatan Harapan, claims Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin.
This is despite Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia having already exited Pakatan, said the Bersatu secretary-general.
The four others are Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Dr Maszlee Malik and Datuk Seri Amiruddin Hamzah.
Hamzah said the letters sent out by Kapt (R) Muhammad Suhaimi Yahya to the five were notices informing them that they had terminated their membership through their own actions against the party constitution.
These were not letters of expulsion, he said.
"We could have sent the notices on May 19, after the one-day Dewan Rakyat sitting on May 18, but then it was Hari Raya, and we decided to wait after Hari Raya.
"We received complaints of Dr Mahathir wanting to be with Pakatan, asking for continuance of Parliament jointly with Pakatan leaders, filing a vote of no confidence against Muhyiddin as the Prime Minister, as well as holding a press conference on May 18 to state that he would continue his efforts to oust Muhyiddin as the PM.
"We forwarded these complaints to the Bersatu disciplinary committee, and Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin as the chairman of the disciplinary committee decided that Dr Mahathir and the four did not need to be referred to the disciplinary committee.
"Some cases can be referred to the disciplinary committee and some cases need not," said Hamzah at a press conference on Friday (May 29).
Hamzah also defended himself against allegations that he was breaking up the party.
He said he had undertaken all orders by Dr Mahathir who was then chairman to strengthen Malay political leaders, as well as to weaken the people's support for DAP.
"I joined the party at the invitation from Dr Mahathir in February last year, and my friends (from Umno) too agreed to join to strengthen the party, as well as to lessen the people's confidence against DAP.
"I did the work on the orders of the then prime minister. For example, the Malay Dignity Congress on Oct 6 was done in a big way and there was no way I could have done it without the orders of Dr Mahathir.
"What I did then was not to break up the party but did what he himself wanted. He wanted all the Malay leaders to unite, and he also asked me in a few discussions with him at his home to find ways to exit Pakatan.
"It was at his own request. The rest is history when Dr Mahathir resigned on Feb 24.
"Muhyiddin himself was shocked and said, 'Oh my God, what happened? I said I do not know, sir. He never told us anything'."
"The King then had to replace him and through the Constitution, appointed Muhyiddin as the PM. It was not because we had an agenda, but because he himself resigned and we had to form our government (Perikatan Nasional).
"He himself was the candidate for the eighth PM, and I worked hard to get him the support of MPs. He himself resigned, and he himself could not get the support of the majority of the MPs. Where could I have broken up (the unity)?" said Hamzah.
He also said that they could contest in any of the party polls as they were no longer members.
The Home Minister and Bersatu secretary-general also said the five would now have to ask permission if they wanted to come to the Bersatu headquarters from now on.
"Dr Mahathir is no more the chairman and he can say anything, but today not only is he not the chairman. He is also not a member of the party.
"Once you are no more a member, do not come here anymore, but if you want to come, you are welcome.
"Anyone is welcome but that does not mean you are a member. If you are not a member, you can always come but you must ask permission from time to time.
"If someone had already taken your room, would you come in and barge in? We have manners, follow our etiquette," said Hamzah.