PETALING JAYA: An audio recording, supposedly of a man who sounds like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaking at a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia supreme council meeting, has surfaced on social media.
In a video posted by a pro-Dr Mahathir page on Facebook, the man was heard making an emotional plea to an unknown group of people, not to force him into going against his principles.
"Please don't force me. Please don't force me to do something that is against my principles. I fulfil my promises. I promised to resign and I will resign.
"No one can say 'don't resign'. If I had made a decision to resign, I will resign.
"After what I said, there will be a need to choose a new (leader). There will be a need to determine that the person has the majority and if you want me to return, I will return," the voice is heard saying.
He also says a meeting with Opposition leaders will be held later that day and the same explanation will be given to them.
"With regards to plans to meet the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to state that I have majority support, there is no need for that because I have already got support as I haven't resigned.
"So that's the real story. Sorry I am so emotional about it. But I realise that I don't have enough time. That is my opinion," he adds.
It is believed that the man was emotional was because of a meeting on the night of Feb 21, where Pakatan leaders had pressured Dr Mahathir to fix a transition date for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to take over as prime minister.
The audio recording is believed to be from the party's supreme council meeting on Feb 23, prior to another meeting at the Sheraton Hotel that night, attended by Barisan Nasional MPs and defecting Pakatan MPs aligned with Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
Dr Mahathir did not go to the meeting at Sheraton Hotel.
The recording was the second audio recording leaked, following another earlier this week of a man who sounds like Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, entrusting Dr Mahathir with the mandate to pull Bersatu out of Pakatan.
In the first audio recording, the voice could be heard saying that Dr Mahathir's decision should not be disputed, given his "wisdom".
The sequence of events is now labelled the "Sheraton Move", where a week-long political impasse caused the collapse of the Pakatan government and the emergence of the Perikatan Nasional coalition (comprising Barisan Nasional, PAS and Gabungan Parti Sarawak), led by Muhyiddin as premier.
Dr Mahathir had recently said that he was forced to resign as premier and Bersatu chairman as the party had decided to quit Pakatan and cooperate with Barisan.
However, his remarks were disputed by Bersatu information chief Radzi Jidin, who said that Dr Mahathir had agreed with Bersatu's decision to leave Pakatan but changed his stand at the last minute.
At present, Bersatu is split between the factions of Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin, with the former intending to return to Pakatan while the latter wants to remain in the Perikatan pact.
Open fire between the two factions has intensified over the past few days, with a no-confidence motion proposed to the tabled in Parliament against Muhyiddin's leadership.
The position of Dr Mahathir's son, Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir's as Kedah Mentri Besar is also under threat.
Source: The Star