Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia’s former Prime Minister Dr Tun Mahathir Mohamad has been in the news again these days, but not for very good reasons.
Dr Mahathir was reported to have called the current governmnet, led by Muhyiddin Yassin, “illegitimate” in a recording released on Wednesday (May 13), after his call for a no-confidence vote had been blocked.
When just a single item was permitted as the order of business in parliament for the next session, scheduled for Monday (May 18), Dr Mahathir did not hold back his thoughts.
“How can this be called a government when MPs are not allowed to speak even when there is a parliamentary sitting?
This government is in fact illegitimate. I think Muhyiddin is illegitimate,” he said.
Since parliament is only meeting for one day, Dr Mahathir’s plan to table a motion of no-confidence against the Prime Minister failed to push through.
Parliamentary sessions are expected to resume in July.
Also on Wednesday, a leaked audio clip made the rounds online wherein a man’s voice, believed to be Mr Muhyiddin, can be heard saying to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) members that the final choice concerning whether or not the party would remove itself from the Pakatan Harapan coalition belonged to Dr Mahathir.
The clip allegedly came from the final meeting the party held before pulling out of the coalition.
The voice can be heard saying, “Okay, we wait for one week. … It is a bit emotional today and we are deliberating about the most important issue in history, which is out of Pakatan, but we will still be the government. Government led by Bersatu, that is important.
So if it’s appropriate, we want to end our meeting today and after that, we will give the mandate to Dr Mahathir? Agree?”
Meanwhile, a separate set of troubles have beset Dr Mathatir’s son Mukhriz Mahathir in the state of Kedah, where he is the Chief Minister. Two assemblymen formerly allied to him have shifted their loyalty to the current Prime Minister. Mukhriz had once been perceived as a potential successor to his father, and has announced that barring a vote of no confidence, he will stay at his post.
In other news about Dr Mahathir and his son, the former Prime Minister on Thursday (May 14) decried as illegal the decision of PPBM to exclude him and Mukhriz from a Supreme Council meeting, since the constitution of the party considers him as its most senior member who has the authority to lead such meetings. The meeting was eventually cancelled, however.
In a video statement, Dr Mahathir said, “When I found that they did not invite me and Mukhriz to the Supreme Council meeting, this contradicted the party constitution.
In the constitution, such a meeting should be chaired by me, with all its members invited. Only this body can approve policies and decide on important actions.”
The meeting had been scheduled for May 11, last Monday, but was called off at the last minute. A confrontation had been expected between Dr Mahathir’s side and those loyal to the current Prime Minister, who had founded the party together in 2016.
Mr Muhyiddin is the president of PPBM. Dr Mahatir was once party chairman but resigned in February after a disagreement concerning an alliance with UMNO. However, the former Prime Minister announced his intent to run for party chairman once more in the party’s upcoming elections. There have been no challengers for the position so far. —/TISG