Dr M on Resignation: How Many Times Must This Be Repeated?

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Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today betrayed a hint of exasperation at being repeatedly questioned over his resignation as the prime minister in late February this year.

It began with Datuk Hasbullah Osman (BN – Gerik) defending Umno MPs, telling the Dewan Rakyat that they did not attempt to topple the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in February, and that the government fell because of Dr Mahathir’s resignation as prime minister.

“Why accuse us for toppling the government? It’s not possible and not logical.

“It’s as though we stole power, but it is actually the work of God, because we couldn’t have guessed why [Dr Mahathir] wanted to resign,” Hasbullah said.

Hasbullah also blamed Dr Mahathir for the fall of PH and hence many developments in his constituency were stalled due to the change of government.

He added that it was impossible for anyone to discover why Dr Mahathir resigned and what the latter was thinking at the time, which prompted Dr Mahathir, who is Langkawi MP, to stand up in the House to offer his response.

Dr Mahathir went on to reiterate that when Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) left Pakatan Harapan (PH), all the then cabinet members lost their respective positions, including himself.

“It seems that this is difficult for some to understand. How many times must this be repeated? What don’t you understand? There was no resignation. I no longer had a position at the time.

“I just went to inform the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that I have lost my position, not because I made the decision to resign. It looks like government MPs don’t understand the Federal Constitution,” he said.

Dr Mahathir had many times said this was an act of betrayal and had said it again today.

“We were chosen by the people, the people who believed in our struggle to fight kleptocracy.

“But when we were in the government, we sabotage our own government because we wanted to be prime minister. Thank you,” said Dr Mahathir, hinting at Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is Bersatu president and Pagoh MP.

Following the February change in government, Muhyiddin was sworn in as prime minister on March 1, thus ending the 22-month PH administration.

Dr Mahathir, a two-time prime minister, was heavily criticised for resigning, especially after the Yang di-Pertuan Agong said in his Royal Address at the Dewan Rakyat in May that he had asked Dr Mahathir to stay on.

The King, however, said Dr Mahathir “was firm with his decision”.

Dr Mahathir has since criticised Muhyiddin for taking Bersatu out of PH, and said it was a betrayal of the people’s mandate.

Dr Mahathir has since set up a new party called Parti Pejuang Tanah Air. However, it has yet to receive approval from the Registrar of Societies.