KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and five other MPs have distanced themselves from the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition’s prime ministerial candidate and insisted that Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal is the Opposition’s best choice for the job.
In a joint statement on his 95th birthday today, Langkawi MP Dr Mahathir, Jerlun MP Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik, Kubang Pasu MP Datuk Amiruddin Hamzah, and Sri Gading MP Datuk Shahruddin Md Salleh said they were standing by a June 25 proposal to have Semporna MP Shafie be the next prime minister if their PH Plus pact regained federal power.
“In that meeting, Amanah and DAP have suggested Shafie as the prime minister and Datuk Seri Anwar and Mukhriz as the first and second deputies respectively,” the six said in the statement.
“I and my friends from Bersatu had agreed and supported the proposal. This is because we want to resolve the impasse in selecting the right candidate who is able to get the support to regain the people’s mandate from the current government.”
The six MPs also said that in the meeting that day involving leaders from Amanah, DAP and Warisan, Dr Mahathir was asked to announce their common decision to nominate Shafie; and added that the former prime minister did so as requested on June 27.
The six who maintained that they were still Bersatu members — though the party leadership has announced their termination — said the recent PH presidential council decision on July 6 naming PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as its sole prime minister candidate did not involve them or Warisan, Shafie’s party.
PPBM members stressed that the decision by Pakatan Harapan (PH) Presidential Council to name Anwar as the Prime Minister candidate did not involve them nor the Warisan members.
“For us, naming Shafie as the prime minister is a positive action that has to be taken.
“It is not only because we believe he will be able to gain the support of the majority, but also a step forward in order to enhance the relationship between the peninsula and Sabah and Sarawak,” they said.
The six MPs also said that they will be with Warisan as an independent bloc in and outside Parliament.
“We are not together with any coalition,” they stressed.
They also said that they are against any attempt to replace the Dewan Rakyat Speaker and will continue the vote of no-confidence against Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who formed a government that was not elected by the people.
“We will continue our fight to reject the kleptocracy government,” they said.