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KUALA LUMPUR, July 14 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said that he is fine with party hoppers but lamented that what befell Pakatan Harapan (PH) was a concerted move to bring the 22-month-old government down.
In an interview with Investvine, the Langkawi MP who has served as prime minister twice, said that what his former party members did to PH was intolerable, as they had formed a pact with Barisan Nasional (BN), which had lost the 14th general election.
“I think everywhere, people are allowed to move from one party to another if they feel dissatisfied with their own party. They may want to switch to another party, that I think is quite normal, but what happened this time is a plot to bring down the government by moving a whole party out of the coalition. A whole party.
“This is a plot to bring down the government. Not just one person moving over to another party, but a whole chunk of people belonging to my party decided to move over, bring down the government, and then form a government with the party which had lost. This is something that is intolerable,” he said.
Dr Mahathir was asked as to how he would court young voters to not avoid casting their ballots in the next national polls, as many are disillusioned and seem sceptical with party hoppers.
“I think this is a very bad thing, for the people had elected them believing in what they said, and now they are doing just the opposite of what they said. They said that they are fighting to bring down this kleptocratic government, and now they are going to join these kleptocrats and I think this is reneging on the promises to the people, which makes me unable to go along with that. I cannot do that,” he added.
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 prime minister heading the new Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
During the interview, Dr Mahathir was also asked why he resigned without consulting his party colleagues, who were also elected by the people.
“I was very disturbed at that time and I did not consult anybody, and that is usual with me when I want to resign. I don’t tell people because they may persuade me to do otherwise,” he added.
Dr Mahathir said that he was also torn between his Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) members’ aspiration for a pro-Malay government which he termed as a “racist” notion, and the thought of having to desert his party comrades who “helped me become prime minister”.
“So I thought at that stage, I should resign,” he added.