Umno Leader: Some MPs Shifted to Dr M, but Won’t Guarantee His Return as PM

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Umno supreme council member Mohd Razlan Rafii said the shifting of allegiance by a number of Bersatu MPs to Langkawi MP Dr Mahathir Mohamad won’t guarantee his return as prime minister.

Alyaa Alhadjri/Malaysiakini

“Even the shift of four to five Bersatu MPs to Mahathir’s team does not guarantee he can become prime minister again,” Razlan said in a statement.

He did not reveal who are the Bersatu MPs who were said to have switched sides to Mahathir’s camp.

To date, the MPs who are known to be Mahathir’s loyalists are his son Mukhriz Mahathir (Jerlun), Amiruddin Hamzah (Kubang Pasu), Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman (Muar) and Maszlee Malik (Simpang Renggam).

The four have been loyalists since the start of Mahathir’s power struggle with Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin for the control of the party.

Bersatu had declared the party membership all five MPs void amid speculations of a counter-coup move, but the MPs who are said to be switching sides have yet to reveal themselves.

Razlan said while Mahathir may have the support of more MPs now, he questioned if the Harapan component parties, particularly PKR and DAP, would still be willing to back the former prime minister.

“The leaked audio clip of a Bersatu meeting where Mahathir clearly said he disliked (PKR president) Anwar Ibrahim and DAP clearly showed he is not sincere in being with PKR and DAP.

“Are PKR and DAP prepared (to stand with Mahathir) if they feel that they will be tricked by Mahathir yet again and appoint himself as the ninth prime minister?” he said.

Furthermore, Razlan said, Anwar is now the opposition leader, not Mahathir.

Yesterday, speculation was rife that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Redzuan Mohd Yusof (Alor Gajah) and Deputy Works Minister Shahruddin Md Salleh (Sri Gading) would declare their support for Mahathir, but this did not materialise.

Based on the current status quo, Muhyiddin has the support of 113 MPs, a two-seat majority in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat.

Muhyiddin was sworn in as the new prime minister on March 1, after Mahathir refused to lead a new coalition Muhyiddin put together, comprising Bersatu, BN, PAS, GPS, PBS and STAR.

Mahathir, whose position as Bersatu chairperson is disputed, has indicated he plans to take Bersatu back to Pakatan Harapan, but Muhyiddin at present appears to have the upper hand in the party.

Razlan said Muhyiddin was trying to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic and Mahathir should not be playing politics at this time.

“Tun should realise the country’s politics is not about the political continuity of his children and cronies.

“That’s enough, Mahathir. You have been prime minister for 24 years. Your children are millionaires and your family is living a good life. Is that not enough?

“Your services are no longer needed. Malaysia is not called ‘Mahathir’, nor is it your personal tool,” Razlan added. – Malaysiakini