Mahathir accuses Malaysia's new PM Muhyiddin of betraying him, Latest World News - The New Paper

Mahathir accuses Malaysia's new PM Muhyiddin of betraying him

This article is more than 12 months old

Claiming to have majority support, he calls for urgent parliamentary sitting as Muhyiddin is sworn in as PM

KUALA LUMPUR: The two old foes have found something they have in common - betrayal.

Former Malaysian prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said he was betrayed by the man who took his job, Mr Muhyiddin Yassin.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Anwar Ibrahim said he was betrayed by those within his party.

Dr Mahathir told a press conference yesterday morning: "I feel betrayed, mostly by Muhyiddin. He has been working on this for a long time and now he has succeeded."

Mr Muhyiddin was named the country's eighth prime minster by Malaysia's king Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Ahmad Shah yesterday.

His party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), no longer part of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, has now allied itself with the opposition United Malays National Organisation (Umno) and PAS parties. Dr Mahathir refused to work with Umno and wanted no part of the alliance.

Asked whether he was upset with Malaysia's Minister of Economic Affairs Azmin Ali, Dr Mahahtir said Mr Azmin had his own agenda, The Star reported.

"He has this whole agenda and chose to work with Muhyiddin," Dr Mahathir said.

On the next step for PH, Dr Mahathir said it would be calling for an urgent parliamentary sitting. "We will see who has the majority (support of MPs)," he said. PH will now become the opposition, he added.

On the future of Bersatu, Dr Mahathir said it was up to the party to decide whether to expel him as chairman or not, The Star reported.

"It is going to happen because majority has rejected me as chairman (of Bersatu), he said.

Asked whether he regretted resigning as prime minister, Dr Mahathir said he had no other choice.

"I had no choice because when I see the coalition that is going to be formed by Bersatu is with Umno.

"That means I would have to accept the people I fought against. That, I am not prepared to do but Muhyiddin was prepared to do so," he added.

Betrayal was also the theme when Mr Anwar spoke to reporters outside PKR headquarters yesterday.

When asked if the chance to become prime minister was stolen from him, he said that position was lost as a result of treachery and betrayal from within his party. "I mean there was clear treachery, but as I've said we have to move on.

"I was magnanimous enough to accept that we need to form this understanding with Tun Dr Mahathir, which we did, only to help secure and save this nation from those who are prone to corruption and abuses of power," he said.

Mr Anwar suggested that those in power are only interested in wielding power instead of improving the plight of the people, reported the Malay Mail.

Betrayal was also the trending topic online. Anger was growing at the ejection of the reformist alliance, with the hashtag "NotMyPM" trending on Twitter with 47,000 tweets moments after the announcement of Mr Muhyiddin as prime minister. More than 100,000 people signed a petition that said the move was a "betrayal" of voters' choice at the 2018 general election, AFP reported.