Dr M: Muhyiddin Weak PM, Unable to Act Against Errant Ministers

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Muhyiddin’s hands tied against PAS, Umno leaders.

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has described Muhyiddin Yassin as a weak prime minister, who needs the support of Umno and PAS to keep him and his Perikatan Nasional government in power.

“He does not even dare choose someone as his deputy prime minister,” he told Malaysiakini in an exclusive interview at his office in Putrajaya yesterday.

Muhyiddin, who was appointed prime minister on March 1 following a week-long political crisis triggered by the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government, opted to appoint senior ministers instead of a number two.

According to Mahathir, this is the reason the prime minister is unable to act against Umno and PAS MPs, including his own ministers.

“He is very weak. He depends on Umno and PAS. If he takes action against Umno and PAS, they will withdraw their support and he will collapse,” the former premier said.

He was commenting on the recent controversies surrounding the PN administration, including the case of cabinet minister Khairuddin Aman Razali from PAS who failed to adhere to the Covid-19 standard operating procedure after returning from abroad.

Two deputy ministers from Bersatu and Umno have also courted flak for their statements regarding a university student in Sabah, who highlighted the issue of internet connectivity in her village.

On the same note, Mahathir said the parties which supported Muhyiddin are also in a Catch-22 position because they would lose power if the PN government fell.

“So, they are in a difficult position. If they cause his (Muhyiddin’s) collapse, they will go down too. That is why they have to support Muhyiddin,” he added.

At most, Mahathir said these parties could hold the prime minister, who is also Bersatu president, at ransom.

Mahathir had co-founded Bersatu together with Muhyiddin. But the pair had disagreed on whether the party should remain in Harapan.

Eventually, Muhyiddin announced Bersatu’s withdrawal from the coalition, which prompted Mahathir to resign as prime minister.

“Now, all principles are overboard. He (Muhyiddin) no longer cares about the party’s struggle.

Mukhriz Hazim/Malaysiakini

“What he cares now is who supports him,” said the nonagenarian.

Meanwhile, Mahathir claimed that Muhyiddin is seeking to bolster his position with the decision to turn Bersatu into a multiracial party.

By doing this, he said the prime minister is hoping to secure the support of non-Malay former PKR members loyal to Azmin Ali.

“So, anything that he (Muhyiddin) does is always about retaining his position as PM. Nothing is about the struggle (for the people) anymore,” he added.

However, Mahathir is pessimistic about Bersatu becoming multiracial, claiming that even those close to Muhyiddin do not support the move. – Malaysiakini