KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang dismissed today the claim by PAS that its planned motion of confidence for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is meant to save the country, calling it a “fairy tale”.
The Iskandar Puteri MP, directing his criticism toward PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, said the motion was nothing but political manoeuvring and proof of the Opposition’s irreverence for democratic principles.
“Datuk Seri Hadi Awang thinks Malaysians are fools to believe the latest PAS fairy tale that its confidence motion in Parliament next month is to save the nation,” Lim said in a statement.
“When in fact it is to torpedo the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government and advance Hadi’s choice for Malaysians to be goat-herders or pig-herders,” he added.
“It is also proof that the present PAS leadership is never committed to the principles of parliamentary democracy and will be the first to dispense with democratic principles and practices if given access to power.”
PAS justified yesterday its planned motion of confidence to keep Dr Mahathir as prime minister for the remaining term, saying the latter’s leadership was needed to mitigate the infighting within the ruling coalition.
To detractors, the proposition is seen as an attempt to block Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from succeeding Dr Mahathir and drive a wedge within PH.
But PAS leaders claimed many of the coalition’s lawmakers are also keen to retain Dr Mahathir.
In the last few days, the party has nursed a whisper campaign that suggests it could get 138 MPs to back its motion, including from lawmakers from DAP.
Lim has rubbished the allegation.
“Hadi claims that PAS MPs are not ‘cowards’ and even concocts the lie that DAP MPs are not united on the issue,” he said.
“This is the latest example of a ‘Shariah-compliant’ lie sanctioned by the present PAS leadership.”
Dr Mahathir so far has acknowledged the rumour that a majority of MPs could support a motion for him to stay on as prime minister for the remaining term.
However, he reaffirmed his stance yesterday, saying he will quit after chairing the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) summit here in November.