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22 May 2024

Monday, November 30, 2020

Dr M denies Azmin’s claim that Perikatan Nasional was his idea


Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Azmin Ali worked together in the previous Pakatan Harapan administration.

PETALING JAYA: Dr Mahathir Mohamad has denied Senior Minister for Economy Azmin Ali’s claim that the setting up of Perikatan Nasional (PN) was his idea.

In a statement, Mahathir alleged that Azmin harbours ambition to become prime minister and that he is the de facto deputy prime minister in the current PN government under Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

“I have repeatedly explained that this is not true at all because the PN is made up of kleptocrats and backed by UMNO en bloc. If I planned it then why should I reject it when it became a reality. If I accept it I will definitely remain as prime minister as Azmin himself acknowledged it,” he said.

Mahathir said if there was anyone who would dare to leave Pakatan Harapan and form Perikatan Nasional it would definitely be Azmin as well as Muhyiddin Yassin, who would have most to gain.

“Do not forget that when all this happened, Azmin’s position in PKR and also PH was very shaky,” he said, referring to the internal division in PKR at the time, when Azmin was challenged by Rafizi Ramli, with the support of party leader Anwar Ibrahim, for the post of PKR deputy president.

Azmin was also under pressure over a gay sex video clip involving a former Sarawak PKR Youth leader. “Some of Anwar’s supporters are said to be involved in the dissemination of the video. Azmin’s position in PKR and his relationship with Anwar had become untenable or irreparable.” he said.

Mahathir said he understood why Azmin planned the “Sheraton Move”. He said Azmin wanted to stop Anwar from becoming prime minister.

“If PH had continued to be in power, Anwar would definitely have a chance of becoming prime minister. At the same time, Azmin also aspired to be prime minister. That is why he joined Muhyiddin and was placed by Muhyiddin as the de facto deputy prime minister.”

Azmin is one of four senior ministers in Muhyiddin’s cabinet and has been deputised to chair Cabinet meetings in Muhyiddin’s absence.

Yesterday, Azmin had claimed that the formation of Perikatan Nasional was Mahathir’s idea to ensure he would remain prime minister with the support of MPs from all parties.

Azmin said Mahathir’s resignation as prime minister had thrown the nation into a political crisis.

“If Tan Sri Muhyiddin didn’t act within that small window, someone else could have rushed to the palace and pressured the palace in order to become the prime minister. I would not have allowed that to happen,” he said. “The only option for me and Muhyiddin then was to leave Pakatan.”

Azmin later quit PKR. He subsequently joined PPBM. - FMT

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