Malaysia’s Democratic Action Party (DAP) is seeking to back the renomination of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad as Prime Minister in the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition’s presidential council meeting tonight.
Party chief Lim Guan Eng told a press conference at DAP’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on Mon evening (24 Feb) that Dr Mahathir’s resignation — from both the PM and Bersatu party chairman posts — was sparked by his refusal to work with Umno, a component party of the previous ruling coalition Barisan Nasional.
Mr Lim said he was “surprised” when Dr Mahathir had informed him of his intention to resign from the premier post.
However, Mr Lim said that Dr Mahathir had “clearly stated that he cannot work with Umno when we worked so hard to reject Umno successfully in the 2018 general elections”.
“This consistency and principled stand in rejecting a corrupt Umno should be supported by all Malaysians,” he said, adding that this is “the first time that a Malaysian prime minister is prepared to resign on principle to uphold integrity and combat corruption”.
Dr Mahathir’s resignation came on the heels of swirling rumours regarding certain factions in the Malay-centric Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) parties attempting to form an alliance with Umno and other opposition parties in a bid to establish a new government.
PKR cadres Azmin Ali and Zuraida Kamaruddin were sacked from the party for “betraying” the party, Malay Mail reported.
At the press conference today, Mr Lim also dismissed the notion that PH no longer has the majority to rule the government, stating that such a notion “can be tested in the Parliament when we sit again in March”.
“No, Pakatan is not dissolved. I’m speaking on behalf of DAP. As for PH, wait for tonight … You have a prime minister who doesn’t want to work with a party that we defeated in the last general election for obvious reasons. This the prime minister that rejected a move that undermined the democratically-elected government.
“He [Dr Mahathir] wants to host APEC and finish his duties. I think we should stick to [last] Friday’s PH presidential council meeting,” said Mr Lim.