PUTRAJAYA, May 18 — Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia chose to stay on as Speaker of Dewan Rakyat after his office was “refurbished”, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today as he stood by his claim that the former had wanted to resign.
The former prime minister said Pandikar was unhappy about the state of strategic investment firm 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), but might have changed his mind after he was provided with new “furnishings”.
“He admitted himself, he came to see me. He did express unhappiness with the present government and he said, ‘I’m going to resign’,” Dr Mahathir said in reply to a question by former Umno assemblyman Datuk Mazlan Harun.
Mazlan had asked during a book launch, questioning the discrepancy between Dr Mahathir’s claim over the weekend and the subsequent denial by Pandikar yesterday.
“It’s about the furnishing of his room. He has to meet lots of VIPs who come to his room, and his room was too shabby.
“Maybe it was because of that [that he wanted to resign]. Maybe now furnishings have been provided,” Dr Mahathir suggested in apparent mockery.
Dr Mahathir later told reporters that Pandikar had “shamed” him with his denial which he said implied that the former prime minister was lying.
He claimed that Pandikar was the one who sought his counsel and not the other way around, and insisted that Pandikar had said that he was no longer the Speaker.
“I believed that he had submitted a resignation letter to Najib. He said he wanted to resign,” Dr Mahathir said, referring to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Pandikar said yesterday he had told Dr Mahathir about his disappointment with Dewan Rakyat proceedings, which he said may have led to the former prime minister’s mistaken belief about his resignation.
Utusan Online reported Pandikar as telling a press conference in Kota Belud, Sabah, that it was not unusual for him to meet the elder politician, calling Dr Mahathir a mentor and teacher to all political leaders in the country.
National news agency Bernama reported Pandikar as denying on Saturday Dr Mahathir’s claim that he had quit his post.
Pandikar assumed his official duties when Parliament convenes today.