Mahathir: Big tent a good idea as long as not led by Anwar or Muhyiddin

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Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he agrees that all opposition parties should collaborate to face the 15th general election (GE15), but neither Anwar Ibrahim nor Muhyiddin Yassin should be in charge.

He said this to Utusan Malaysia, describing both leaders as “crooked” (tidak lurus).

Because of this, the Pejuang chairman said his party was against the “big tent” approach being promoted by some to have all opposition parties stand together against Barisan Nasional in GE15.

“If possible, there should be a big tent to deal with all the problems our country faces, especially the Malays who have a lot of problems.

“However, we need to find people who are upright. Sorry lah,” the nonagenarian two-time prime minister said in the interview.

He explained what he meant by calling Anwar and Muhyiddin “crooked”, saying they had personal agendas and did not put the people first.

“Anwar had no support but look at how many times he claimed that he could be prime minister. But it never happened. He had no support.”


Dr Mahathir also said if not for Anwar, he would still have been prime minister after the Sheraton Move in 2020.

He said after he resigned as prime minister then following Pakatan Harapan losing its parliamentary majority, he had expected to be named again as PM candidate and not for Anwar to claim that he had support to be PM.

“When I resigned, the Agong asked all 220 MPs to write down their choice for prime minister.

“I thought Pakatan Harapan would choose me because I was with Harapan. But Anwar said he had a lot of support.

“(Harapan) gave Anwar 92 votes while I had 62. (The 62 votes) did not come from Harapan but from others. I don’t know who.

“If I received those 92 votes from Harapan, I would have 154, and I would be prime minister. (Anwar) caused me to lose, he lost as well,” said Mahathir.

He said Pejuang hadn’t been involved in any concrete discussions towards realising a big tent strategy so far.

“No one has contacted me, other than some from Bersatu,” he said.

He added that Pejuang was considering forming ties with “two or three” parties and was looking for partners who are “not corrupt”.