Muhyiddin kept his word about refusing to help Najib escape charges, says Dr M
But it was also this unwavering stand by the Bersatu leader that caused his downfall, with similar pressure to be felt by his successor Ismail Sabri Yaakob, says the former prime minister.
(MalaysiaNow) – While Dr Mahathir Mohamad has reserved some of the strongest words in his newest memoir for Muhyiddin Yassin, he also acknowledges that his former party comrade who went on to succeed him as prime minister was steadfast against any attempt at having Najib Razak’s criminal charges dropped.
“Muhyiddin assured me that he would not interfere with Najib’s trials and other court cases.
“In this, at least, I believe Muhyiddin kept his word – he apparently declined to drop charges against Najib or obtain a pardon for his existing convictions,” the veteran leader wrote in his upcoming memoir “Capturing Hope: The Struggle Continues for a New Malaysia”, a 304-page book covering his 15-year retirement before his return to the top office in 2018 and his resignation 22 months later.
But Mahathir said it was also this principle that caused Muhyiddin’s downfall in August this year, when he was forced to resign after a string of defections involving Umno MPs engineered by Najib and party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“When Muhyiddin refused to stop the court proceedings against Najib, Najib threatened to pull out of the coalition, triggering the sequence of events that led to the rise of Ismail Sabri,” he said, adding that he had warned Muhyiddin against the risk of needing Najib’s support for his Perikatan Nasional government.