Accused of causing fall of Pakatan govt, Dr Mahathir tells Umno MPs he was no longer PM after Bersatu quit

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had resigned late February after Bersatu announced its exit from Pakatan Harapan. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had resigned late February after Bersatu announced its exit from Pakatan Harapan. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 ― Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today told off Umno MPs who blamed him for the fall of the government under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.

He also suggested that MPs from the ruling coalition Perikatan Nasional (PN) did not understand the workings of the Federal Constitution.

“I didn't resign. But maybe the MPs from the ruling coalition don't understand how our constitution works.

“When Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia left PH, PH fell, and so there was no more government.

“If PH isn't government anymore, than how was I to be the prime minister? So how could I have resigned if I didn't have a position anymore?” he told the Dewan Rakyat today during the debate on the Supply (Reallocation of Appropriated Expenditure) Bill 2020.

Dr Mahathir was responding to Barisan Nasional’s Gerik MP Datuk Hasbullah Osman who had blamed the former for indirectly causing delayed developments in the latter’s parliamentary constituency.

“I think it's hard [for them] to understand, [because I] have to repeat this matter so many times, it's as though they can't hear. I'm not sure.

“I only told the King that I resign but it does not mean that I made the decision on my own.

“Because when my [then] party left PH, PH is not government anymore and so automatically all of the PH ministers were dropped due to that move,” he said, referring to Bersatu.

Dr Mahathir had many times said this was an act of betrayal, and had said it again today.

“We were chosen by the people, the people who believed in our struggle to fight kleptocracy.

“But when we were in the government, we sabotage our own government because we wanted to be prime minister. Thank you,” said Dr Mahathir, hinting at Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is Bersatu president and Pagoh MP.

Dr Mahathir had resigned late February after Bersatu announced its exit from PH.

He however has announced forming a new party, last Friday and revealed the party's name as Parti Pejuang Tanah Air, pending Registrar of Societies approval.

Hasbullah had earlier during his time to debate defended Umno MPs, saying that they did not attempt to topple the PH government, and that the government then fell because of Dr Mahathir's resignation as prime minister.

“The prime minister today headed Bersatu and pulled out of PH, while [Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali] pulled out of PH.

“Why accuse us for toppling the government? It's not possible and not logical.

“It's as though we stole power, but it is actually the work of God, because we couldn't have guess why [Dr Mahathir] wanted to resign,” Hasbullah said.

Hasbullah also blamed Dr Mahathir for the fall of PH and hence many developments in his constituency were stalled due to the change of government.

The Gerik MP was reported as among 22 Barisan Nasional MPs who met Azmin last November and said they had lost direction and were not sure whether they should join other parties. 

He however had denied the 22 MPs had any intention of jumping to another party or becoming Independents.

Azmin had previously described the meeting which took place on November 18, as a normal meet-up between MPs.

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