Dr Mahathir Was Quitting Pakatan

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How the coalition was saved from the brink of disintegration.

  • Mahathir told Muhyiddin to withdraw Bersatu from PH
  • Differences over leadership structure in PH and inability of the four parties to reach a consensus led to near-crisis
  • Nurul Izzah’s London meeting saved the nation

Pakatan Harapan had done the unimaginable. The coalition with a 92-year-old politician at its helm dislodged a regime which had been in power for six decades.

However, a new revelation surfaced on how PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah managed to save the coalition from the brink of disintegration.

Lim Huey Teng/Malaysiakini

Recalling what transpired less than a year ago, Liew Chin Tong said Mahathir, before leaving for London during Aidilfitri, sent a letter to Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin to withdraw the party from Harapan.

According to the DAP political education bureau chief, this was due to the differences over the leadership structure in Harapan and the inability of the four parties to reach a consensus.

Liew said Nurul then rushed to London to meet Mahathir and managed to convince him to remain with the coalition.

“The meeting between Nurul and Mahathir in London was a historic meeting that turned around the whole scenario. 

Koh Jun Lin/Malaysiakini

“After the Harapan leadership talks were done, the whole political atmosphere was different,” he told Oriental Daily News.

In July last year, Bersatu strategist Rais Husin told Malaysiakini that the London meeting was to resolve key issues that were holding back Harapan’s registration as a coalition.

However, he declined to reveal details except that the meeting was “all good”.

Nurul also at the time declined to divulge details of the meeting, except that it was to save the nation.

Meanwhile, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali said: “Anyone can meet Mahathir but discussions must be done in the Harapan spirit and not as individuals. Maybe, Nurul just went there to spend Hari Raya with Mahathir.”

Upon his return, Mahathir told reporters on July 7, 2017, that the meeting did not discuss who should be prime minister if Harapan won the 14th general election.

“We did not (discuss) about posts, just the structure (of Harapan).

“There has yet to be (a consensus). We will have a meeting and we will decide before informing the press,” he said.

Harapan eventually announced its leadership line-up on July 13 last year, naming Anwar Ibrahim as its de facto leader, Mahathir as its chairperson, and Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as its president. – Malaysiakini