Rivals Dr M and Ku Li team up to support ‘unity govt’

KUALA LUMPUR: Old-time rivals Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah have said they will form a “unity government” if Budget 2021 fails to be passed and the Perikatan Nasional government falls today.

Stating that they had not gone around asking for votes from MPs for their plan, they said the government had no proper strategy to handle the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic slowdown.

The duo have declared that the Perikatan government is “not legitimate and not stable” as it “only has a majority of two” and is not strong enough to run the economy.

The two most senior elected politicians in the country said at a joint press conference yesterday that they were not working with the Pakatan Harapan opposition or any Umno MPs being tried in the courts.

Although Dr Mahathir is in the opposition and Tengku Razaleigh is with Perikatan Nasional, both agree that the Perikatan government is not stable and needs to be changed.

Dr Mahathir said it was so they could form a government to return Malaysia to its glory days as the most advanced nation in South-East Asia.“It is possible that the government may lose the Budget 2021 vote and there is a need to form a new government. We hope they pick one dedicated to serving the people.

“We have no line-up for the new government. We have discussed ways to return to being a progressive country, ” he said, adding that he was not working with opposition chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

He also said MPs who were facing court cases such as former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi would not be part of the new government, even if they voted against Budget 2021.

Although both of them have said neither is offering himself as the next prime minister, Dr Mahathir said: “If I have enough votes, I will be the prime minister tomorrow.“At this moment, unless we have a general election, it is up to the 222 MPs to choose a new government.

“The rakyat are fed up of politicians who only think of parties. Statutory declarations by MPs do not count. What counts is the vote in Dewan Rakyat, ” he said.

Dr Mahathir said even if Budget 2021 was passed, it would still be a weak government.

Tengku Razaleigh said although he was an Umno MP, he was free to support whomever he wanted.

“I’m here sharing a platform with Dr Mahathir in the country’s best interest. Foreign direct investment is low. There is no growth, no jobs and our youths will be unemployed.

“This is the world of the young. We old people want to help, ” he said, adding that he would not join the debates for Budget 2021 and would not vote for it after the third reading.

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