PH would still be in power if they had backed me instead of Anwar during crisis

(FMT) – Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad says Pakatan Harapan would still be in power if the coalition’s three parties backed him instead of Anwar Ibrahim during the political crisis earlier this year.

In a blog post today, Mahathir refuted claims he blocked PKR president Anwar Ibrahim from succeeding him.

“I did not oppose Pakatan Harapan’s proposal for Anwar to replace me when I resigned as prime minister but even before the time came, his people were pushing me to resign.”

Mahathir narrated the incidents leading to his resignation as prime minister, from the final PH Presidential Council meeting where he was given the sole discretion to decide when to leave office and the subsequent PPBM Supreme Council meeting where the party’s top leaders demanded they quit the ruling coalition.

Still, Mahathir said, his decision to resign had nothing to do with the proposal for Anwar to take over as PM but because he felt his own party did not support his decision to remain with PH.

A political crisis was sparked when Mahathir resigned as PM, and that is when the Yang di-Pertuan Agong interviewed MPs to determine who had majority support.

Mahathir said 92 PH MPs supported Anwar, while he only got the support of 66 MPs.

“If the three PH parties had named me as their candidate, I would have received 158 votes, with the 66 MPs who supported me.

“But because they gave 92 to Anwar, I lost and Anwar also lost.”

Had he received the support of the 92 MPs, Mahathir said the PH-led administration would have been intact and when he resigned, Anwar would have succeeded him.

Mahathir revealed that when Anwar’s nomination failed, PH wanted to support him again and claimed Anwar even agreed, on condition he would be deputy prime minister.

“I did not agree because I wanted a Cabinet that would remain (unchanged) for a long time.”

Anwar, he said, relented but by then it was too late as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had already appointed Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister.

Even after that, Mahathir said, he and his supporters agreed to continue efforts to topple the Perikatan Nasional-led government but Anwar rejected his involvement, which included a proposal for him (Mahathir) to become PM again for six months.

“If I am rejected, my supporters would not be on board and we would not get the three MPs needed to secure the numbers.”

This, he said, was why when Dewan Rakyat reconvened after the change of government, Muhyiddin still had the support of 112 MPs during the vote to change the speaker.

Later, Mahathir said Anwar declared he had the numbers and, once again, he and his supporters were excluded by Anwar.

“But we all know Anwar is still not PM. His statement that he has the numbers is found to be untrue. I do not have a place in Anwar’s plans. It is clear, even after I was pushed aside, that Anwar cannot win.

“In 2008, Anwar also failed. Was I the one who stopped Anwar (then)?” he said in reference to Anwar’s failed takeover bid.