Audio recording of Bersatu Supreme Council meeting prior to the February political crisis contradicts the official narrative that the party officially decided to leave Pakatan Harapan.
- The leak lends credence to Dr M’s assertion that Bersatu had gone against his decision not to quit PH
- Muhyiddin said the decision to leave PH was made on February 23, which the recording shows is a lie
As the infighting within Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) continues, a leaked audio recording allegedly depicting the party’s final supreme council meeting on February 23, before it quit Pakatan Harapan, has made its rounds on social media.
In the one-minute audio recording, a voice that sounds like party president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin can be heard saying that chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has the authority to decide whether to withdraw from PH or adopt alternative measures.
“Okay, we wait for one week. …It is a bit emotional today and we are deliberating about the most important issue in history, which is out of Pakatan, but we will still be the government. Government led by Bersatu, that is important.
“So, if it’s appropriate, we want to end our meeting today and after that, we will give the mandate to Dr Mahathir? Agree?” Muhyiddin’s voice said, to which meeting participants responded with “setuju (agree)”.
Muhyiddin’s voice was also heard saying that Dr Mahathir’s decision should not be disputed, given his “wisdom”.
“We have never doubted the wisdom of Dr Mahathir, there must be some wisdom. He has been prime minister for so long, we have to respect him.
“So, we have to do whatever he says. If that’s the case, we can end the meeting. Our decision is to respect Dr Mahathir’s opinion, we understand what he means but give a bit of time,” he said.
The recording has also been posted as a video that includes explanatory notes and subtitles on the Facebook page of Bersatu.TV.
The video continues with text stating that after the meeting, which was held at 2pm, Muhyiddin and all Bersatu MPs, minus Dr Mahathir and Mukhriz Mahathir, went to the Sheraton Hotel in Petaling Jaya that night.
The meeting at the Sheraton Hotel was attended by Barisan Nasional MPs and defecting former Pakatan MPs aligned with Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.
The text in the video states that Dr Mahathir resigned the next day as party chairman and prime minister out of disappointment, and that Muhyiddin took advantage of this by announcing Bersatu’s withdrawal from PH.
In his announcement, Muhyiddin states that the decision was made on February 23, which the video points out is a lie.
What is now labelled the “Sheraton Move” triggered a week-long political impasse that saw the collapse of the Pakatan government, which was replaced by the Perikatan Nasional coalition (Barisan, PAS, Gabungan Parti Sarawak) led by Muhyiddin as prime minister.
Dr Mahathir 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.
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 decided to change his stand at the last minute.
However, Dr Mahathir’s son and Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, who said his father had never agreed with Bersatu’s decision to leave Pakatan.
Meanwhile, Bersatu supreme council member Datuk A Kadir Jasin has commented on the recording by saying it showed Muhyiddin failed to abide by the council’s position when he took part in the so-called “Sheraton Move” orchestrated by Azmin.
Kadir also posted a transcript of the recording on Facebook.
“It is clear that the supreme council meeting on February 23 has not yet decided to leave PH. But that night the ‘Sheraton Movement’ was executed in violation of the decision from the Bersatu supreme council meeting that Muhyiddin himself concluded.
“On his part, Dr Mahathir appealed for time and not to be forced into violating his principles and breaching his promise to PH,” Kadir wrote.
“But for Muhyiddin and his supporters, the February 23 meeting was merely to inform the plan that he and Azmin had agreed with the Opposition (BN and PAS).”
Kadir, who was the media adviser to Dr Mahathir when the latter was still the prime minister, also claimed Muhyiddin’s decision cost Bersatu its power and influence.
He claimed that while Muhyiddin was nominally the prime minister heading the Perikatan Nasional government, Bersatu was now the subject of PAS and Umno’s ridicule.
“And Muhyiddin betrayed the good work that he agreed to and performed during the Pakatan Harapan (administration),” he said.
The clip also dovetailed with disputed Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Marzuki Yahya’s previous remarks, in which he insisted the party leadership never decided to quit PH or endorse Muhyiddin as its candidate to be prime minister.
Marzuki also challenged Radzi to demonstrate where the party decided on both matters, after the latter warned party leaders not to go against the party’s official stand.
Bersatu is presently split between the factions of Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin, where the former intends to return to Pakatan while the latter wants to remain in the Perikatan pact.
The May 18 Parliament sitting, the first held since Pakatan lost federal power, is highly anticipated after a motion of no confidence against Muhyiddin was submitted.
The open fire between Dr Mahathir and Muhyiddin appeared to have intensified in recent days, after the nonagenarian’s faction had openly attacked Muhyiddin, resulting in Mukhriz’s second exit as Kedah mentri besar.