Malaysia's new PM says he has written to Mahathir to apologise, Latest World News - The New Paper

Malaysia's new PM says he has written to Mahathir to apologise

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PM Muhyiddin Yassin said he has written to the former premier to ask for forgiveness if he had hurt him

KUALA LUMPUR : Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin extended an olive branch to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday.

He said he has written to the man he replaced to ask for forgiveness if he had hurt him.

Dr Mahathir, 94, sparked turmoil with his surprise resignation last month, shortly after his coalition partners were seen in talks with his opponents.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin, a former minister in Dr Mahathir's Cabinet, was later sworn in as prime minister on March 1, joining hands with the old ruling Umno - which lost a general election for the first time in 2018 - and the Islamist party PAS to form a new coalition.

Mr Muhyiddin said he has written to request a meeting and apologise to Malaysia's most prominent political figure, who ruled for 22 years between 1981 and 2003, before coming out of retirement to contest and win the 2018 election.

"We have formed this government and I want Tun to endorse this government, that it is a government for the people," Mr Muhyiddin, referring to Dr Mahathir by his title, told a news conference.

His comments came after Dr Mahathir said in an interview published yesterday that a vote of no-confidence against Mr Muhyiddin was likely to fail.

Dr Mahathir told Sinar Harian: "It (Cabinet) will last until the next general election. Now that he (Mr Muhyiddin) is government, he can give 'sweets' to many.

"I find that some of those who used to be my supporters have now been appointed ministers, and they have moved to that side.

"Even if we mooted the vote of no-confidence (against the Prime Minister) in the Dewan Rakyat, it may not succeed. This is because he had taken those who used to take my side."

Dr Mahathir said he hoped Mr Muhyiddin would continue the policies he had put in place when he was the seventh prime minister for 22 months under Pakatan before it collapsed.


"I ask that the Cabinet not drop the good policies which we made. For example, the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030. It is a good policy, and the one who created it then is also in the current Cabinet," said Dr Mahathir.

Dr Mahathir also claimed former premier Najib Razak was behind the conspiracy to topple the Pakatan Harapan government.

"The real conspirator was Najib. When he lost (in the last general election), he got the idea that if he created a Malay-Muslim government, he will get more support from the Malays.

"This is why he tried for so long, but his approach was not effective and failed, and we won (in the last election)," said Dr Mahathir.

He said Mr Najib and PAS stressed the Malay-Muslim and "bad DAP (Democratic Action Party)" narrative to gain support from his party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), to build a Malay government.

"Suddenly, the ones who lost became winners and the ones who won are said to have lost. This is the real conspiracy," said Dr Mahathir.

He said Najib wanted to quickly regain his power as he was undergoing trial for corruption cases involving 1MDB and that he might soon be punished.

"Now, they have won," said Dr Mahathir.- THE STAR, REUTERS