PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has claimed that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had met him several times alone to convince him to abandon the Pakatan Harapan coalition.
This was before a highly publicised Bersatu meeting on Feb 23 that decided to officially leave the coalition.
The ex-premier admitted that he did not reject the suggestion but told Muhyiddin that he would have to think about it.
"But I did not agree to leave at that time because I was from Pakatan that won in our battle to topple Datuk Seri Najib Razak," he said in a video released Tuesday (June 2).
Dr Mahathir said it was odd for Bersatu to work with Najib again, after toppling him in the 14th General Election.
He also said there was no reason to reject Pakatan although many had said that the coalition was supposedly led by DAP.
"There was no way DAP could be in charge of Pakatan. As the Prime Minister, there was no way I would agree with any suggestions that did not consider everyone, especially the Malays," he said.
In the video, Dr Mahathir admitted to meeting the leaders of several parties who were planning to oust Pakatan as the government.
The leaders included Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Muhyiddin, former PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) duo Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg and Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.
A picture of the meeting had gone viral on social media recently.
Dr Mahathir said that the meeting was conducted at his home, according to his programme, after Bersatu had a supreme council meeting on Feb 23.
"We had met to discuss the decision made by the supreme council meeting. That was the reason we met. After the meeting, all would go to the palace to meet with the King," said Dr Mahathir.
He said that in the Bersatu meeting, there were suggestions to leave Pakatan but Dr Mahathir said that they should think more about a matter as serious as that.
"They agreed to give me time to agree with their suggestion. Tan Sri Muhyiddin gave me one week to make a decision. But they had already planned to leave Pakatan," he said.
He added that after the meeting in his house, the party leaders went to the Istana.
Dr Mahathir said he, however, did not go to the Istana because he wanted to think about the decision made by the Bersatu supreme council.
Source: The Star