KUALA LUMPUR, March 11 — Conspiracy theories remain over who specifically caused the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan administration but Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has offered up a culprit who had not been visibly involved in the crisis.
In an interview with Sinar Harian, the former prime minister said the true mastermind was his immediate predecessor, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
“The one who was truly conspiring was Najib. When he was losing (the general election), he got the idea that if he could form a Malay-Muslim government, then he would get support from the Malays and win,” Dr Mahathir said in the interview.
“That is why he tried so long but his approach was not effective and ultimately failed, so we won.”
Despite this, Najib continued pushing the Malay-Muslim narrative along with PAS and kept reaching out to Bersatu for the purpose, Dr Mahathir asserted.
He also said PH’s rivals sought to use DAP to drive a wedge between the coalition’s parties, insisting that the party must be expelled and for Bersatu to cooperate with Umno.
“All of a sudden, the losers are now considered winners, and those who won are said to have lost,” he said in apparent reference to the general election result.
“So, whose conspiracy is this? Is it mine? What reason do I have to conspire when I was already the prime minister?” he added.
Dr Mahathir also rejected suggestions that he triggered the crisis as he had not been prepared to step aside for a successor, saying he would have had no problem doing so at the right time.
Coincidentally, Najib posted a message on Twitter today that appeared to mock Dr Mahathir’s chances of removing Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyididn Yassin via a motion of no-confidence.
The former Umno president listed six MPS who previously pledged support for Dr Mahathir but who were now either in the Muhyiddin administration or have rescinded their support.
PH leaders previously asserted that the crisis was motivated by Umno leaders trying to escape convictions for their various corruption charges.
Umno leaders with ongoing cases against them include Najib, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Mansor.
Najib’s wife and stepson, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz, are also on trial for corruption and money laundering.
Dr Mahathir resigned unexpectedly in February to trigger a political crisis that brought down the PH administration and culminated in Muhyiddin’s appointment as the new PM heading the new Perikatan Nasional government.