KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 29 2020: In yet another twist in the ongoing Malaysian political drama, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is now offering himself as the Prime Minister candidate with the backing of Pakatan Harapan (PH).
“I believe I have the majority of support in Parliament to be the next Prime Minister and I will not work with Umno kleptocrats,” he said in a statement today.
The interim Prime Minister said he did not sign any statutory declaration in support of any individual.
Dr Mahathir’s new position on the unfolding event came after his Pribumi Bersatu’s statement yesterday that the party was unanimous in support of its president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as Prime Minister.
“I refer to statements inferring that I had supported Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s candidature as Prime Minister.
“As I had repeatedly stated, I am against any form of cooperation with individuals who are known to be corrupt and was part of the kleptocratic administration which the Pakatan Harapan Government had worked hard to rid off.
“As a matter of principle I had conveyed this to the Bersatu members of Parliament in the meeting yesterday.
“I did not sign any Statutory Declaration in support of any individual.
“In fact I left the meeting early to allow for a free debate among members of parliament from Bersatu to choose whomever they feel is suited for the post of Prime Minister.
“And as I had stated before, while I am not prepared to work with those who are corrupt from Umno, I can accept them individually for so long as they are proven clean. Perhaps Muhyiddin is more relaxed towards this approach,” said Dr Mahathir.
He further said that he had a meeting with leaders of Pakatan Harapan this morning and based on that he felt that they are supporting him and thus have the numbers needed to garner majority support in the Dewan Rakyat.
“I am therefore prepared to stand as prospective candidate for Prime Minister.
“This decision will be conveyed to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong,” said Dr Mahathir.
Meanwhile PH in a statement issued after Dr Mahathir’s announcement said it will throw its full support behind him.
The statement stressed that PH was the coalition which had received clear mandate during the last general election.
“Pakatan is against any attempt at a backdoor government, especially those involving kleptocrats and traitors to the cause, which will destroy all efforts at reformation that has been carried out until now.
“Thus, to carry on with our fight, Pakatan has expressed full support behind Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as candidate for Prime Minister.
“Pakatan holds true to the principle and will continue to fight for our manifesto in government,” the statement read.