KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has revealed that he collaborated with Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in an attempt to influence some Umno leaders to withdraw support for the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
In an interview with news site Malaysia Post, the former prime minister said if this could have been achieved, the PN government would have fallen and efforts to appoint a new prime minister would have been realised.
However, Dr Mahathir said that Tengku Razaleigh, who is also known as Ku Li, had failed to attract the support of even one Umno leader, despite his influence in the party.
“Tengku Razaliegh has influence in Umno. If he managed to pull two or three people out (support) like him… the government would have fallen but he did not succeed in pulling (them out). No one wanted to leave these lucrative positions.
“There are no friends or people close to him, so he is alone. So I was with him because he said he could pull some Umno people (out) but no Umno people wanted to leave,” said Dr Mahathir.
He pointed to the likelihood of these Umno leaders “running out of money” if they left.
Last December, Ku Li, who is also chairman of the Umno Advisory Board, withdrew his support for the PN government.
He also appeared in a special press conference with Dr Mahathir, a day before the third reading of the Supply (Budget) Bill 2021, as a last resort to thwart the Bill's approval in the Dewan Rakyat.
However, the effort failed when the 2021 Budget was approved in the Dewan Rakyat, after the third reading was decided by a division vote which saw 111 elected representatives supporting, 108 rejecting and one absent.