MALAYSIA — As the old saying goes, “there are no permanent friends or enemies in politics.” as it is reported that Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, is willing to collaborate with Muhyiddin Yassin, the Chairman of the National Alliance (PN) if both parties can “achieve the same goals”.
According to an article published on Thursday (1 June) by Malaysia Now, Dr. Mahathir suggested that both former Malaysian PMs could reconcile after being at odds for over three years following the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.
Mahathir said that the effort to “fight for the fate of the Malays” should be made a primary goal, besides rejecting individuals involved in corruption or criminal misconduct.
He stated that the division of Malays based on different political party struggles has weakened the majority community and made it difficult to rectify the situation.
“We want to establish cooperation, but the goals must be determined,” he said in an exclusive interview with MalaysiaNow in Putrajaya on Wednesday (31 May).
“We have divided into many parties, and we have lost power. When we lose power, we cannot rectify the situation that harms the Malays. That’s why we need to unite.”
Mahathir mentioned that it is difficult for him to cooperate with current PM Anwar Ibrahim due to their different struggles.
According to Mahathir, who is also a former Member of Parliament for Langkawi, Anwar is seen as someone who is not very serious in fighting for the fate of the Malays.
“Even regarding religion, his views are not accepted by the Malays. That is why I cannot cooperate with him.
“I am ready to collaborate with those who understand the major problems faced by the Malays,” he emphasized.
On 3 May, Dr Mahathir also filed a defamation suit to the High Court in Shah Alam against Anwar for RM150 million (33.7 million USD) over “slanderous” accusations of enriching himself and his family during his time in power.
“Malays no longer support UMNO”
Furthermore, Mahathir stated that Malays no longer support UMNO because they no longer have confidence in the party’s struggle to defend the interests of the majority in the country.
He said that the decline in votes for UMNO, which only managed to secure 26 parliamentary seats in GE15, is clear evidence that the party is no longer the preferred choice for Malay voters.
“That is why we need to unite. But who should unite? Not those involved in corruption, those who have been sentenced to prison, and so on.
“The Malay voters are concerned about the problems faced by the Malays. They want to find a group that genuinely cares about the issues faced by the Malays and takes action to address these problems,” he added.
Muhyiddin, says he ready to collaborate with Tun Dr M as well
In response, Muhyiddin Yassin, the current Chairman of the political party BERSATU (Parti Pribumi Bersatu), has stated that he welcomes the statement from Dr Mahathir, and he is ready to collaborate with all Malay and Islamic leaders, including Dr Mahathir.
“I welcome the statement of YABhg Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who is willing to collaborate with me for the purpose of fighting for the fate of the Malays and Islam, ” said Muhyddin in a Facebook post on Friday (2 June).
“I am aware that the recent political developments have placed the Malays and Islam in this country at a bitter crossroads.”
“Therefore, as a Muslim, I personally am ready to collaborate with all Malay and Islamic leaders, including Tun Dr Mahathir, in the struggle to defend our religion, race, and country.”
As Malaysia’s fourth PM, Mahathir held his premiership from 1981 to 2003, during which time the Barisan National coalition achieved an undeniable two-thirds majority.
In 2015, Mahathir called for the resignation of BN’s chairman and then-PM Najib Razik over the 1MDB corruption scandal. He left UMNO the following year and founded the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (BERSATU).
Mahathir officially joined the opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) and won Malaysia’s 14th General Election. He once again led the government as the country’s seventh prime minister for 22 months, from May 2018 until February 2020.
Mahathir was expelled from Bersatu following a change in government through the Sheraton Move, which saw the PH government collapse and being replaced by the PN government led by Muhyiddin.
Muhyiddin led BERSATU departed from the Pakatan Harapan(PH) coalition and joined forces with Barisan Nasional (BN) and PAS to form a new government coalition, which appointed him as 8th Prime Minister and held the position for 17 months, from 2020 to 2021.
After his tenure, Mahathir announced the formation of a new political party, the Homeland Fighters’ Party, but he failed to defend his seat in the Langkawi constituency during the 15th Malaysia General Election, losing by a significant margin.