Behind the Curtains: More details about the meetings between G25 with Mahathir-Muhyiddin
This is the transcript of the interview with G25 member, Tawfik Ismail where he exposes more details of the G25 group’s multiple meetings with Tun Mahathir and former DPM Muhyiddin Yassin. The article was first published in the daily edition of NST last Thursday on November 12, 2015.
(However, I found it an interesting read as it sheds some light on the issues of ‘a plot to unseat Najib’ by some quarters by implicating him as a ‘thief’ and of corruption. Its Sunday, and I believe we have more time to read and comprehend it. Note the parts in red).
Behind the curtains: G25 member Tawfik Ismail reveals a number of details mentioned during meetings between the group, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and former deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. He tells Syed Umar Ariff how Dr Mahathir was on a power trip and had betrayed the trust of the Malays, and that Muhyiddin believed he could be the next prime minister.
Question: What was discussed during the first meeting between the G25 and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the Albukhary Foundation?
Answer: The meeting took place between April and March, we wanted to talk to him about Islam and Constitution, but he kept talking about 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) instead. So, I told him we were there not to talk about 1MDB.
We were there to talk about PAS’s attempt to include a hudud (related) bill in the parliament, Dr Mahathir talked about Islam for a while but then went back to 1MDB and about (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak), whom he described as a “thief”, among others.
Dr Mahathir said he wanted to replace Najib with another candidate and wanted to make sure that it would happen. Then he said the replacement would be advised by a “Council Of Elders”.
I said that was undemocratic, because we elected a prime minister, and we do not have a council of elders in the Constitution.
Then he talked again about the money purportedly lost in 1MDB.
However, I told him again that if we look back at the present value of what Dr Mahathir had lost during his time as prime minister, I am sure the amount of money would be more than was alleged to be lost in 1MDB. He kept quite after I said that.
Dr Mahathir tried to persuade us that he was right. The discussion was muddled by his obsession to get rid of Najib.
Question: Obviously the first meeting did not end in Dr Mahathir’s favour. What happened then during the second meeting at the Perdana Leadership Foundation?
Answer: We met him on the day of his press conference with Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and (Tan Sri) Sanusi (Junid). He only asked for four people from G25 to be present, and I was among them. Dr Mahathir described how difficult it was to get rid of Najib, as he has “all the powers as a prime minister at his disposal”.
Dr Mahathir then asked G25 whether we would like to talk with another Chinese group on problems affecting business and the economy. I replied that we should not take a racial view on the issue, because, otherwise, other races in the country would not be represented. The Indians would not have anyone to represent them, just like the Dayaks, Ibans and Eurasians.
Why should G25 as a Malay group,work only with a Chinese counterpart? We should instead bring West and East Malaysians together.
So, I suggested to him we should follow (Datuk Seri) Nazir Razak’s idea to set up a National Consultative Council. Dr Mahathir did not make any further comments on the matter. The meeting was cut short as he was unwell and coughing quite badly.
Question: What do you think of Dr Mahathir after meetings?
Answer: Personally, I think probably Dr Mahathir is someone who wants things to go his way. He is on a power trip. Some of his legacy were not carried out by Pak Lah (Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) and Najib.
He had often mentioned the Crooked Bridge (to replace the Johor-Singapore Causeway). That is one of his pet topics.