PETALING JAYA, June 25 (Sin Chew Daily) — Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir admits he is aware of the Malay Dignity Congress organized by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia secretary-general Hamzah Zainuddin but denies giving instruction for the event.
He describes the allegation as baseless.
"They informed me of the event. I told them to decide on their own and I was not required to approve," he said.
In an exclusive interview with Sin Chew Daily, he asked, "Did you know what I have said at the congress? I told them solutions are with them. The Malays should work harder. I did not say they should do this. The remarks about abolishing Chinese schools were their idea.
"My view is the Malays are able to catch up with the Chinese. If they are prepared to improve the (status of the) economy seriously and we know how to ( deliver). We already have plans."
Dr Mahathir said this in response to a claim made by Hamzah Zainuddin that he had carried out Dr Mahathir's instruction.
When Hamzah announced the sacking of Dr Mahathir and four others at the headquarters of Bersatu, he said whatever he has done, including organizing the Malay Dignity Congress, was according to directive issued by Dr Mahathir.
"Without the instruction of the then Prime Minister, I would not have been able to organize the Malay Dignity Congress," said Hamzah.
Dr Mahathir also denied he had instructed Hamzah to find a channel to pull out from Pakatan Harapan and sabotage the people's confidence in DAP.
Dr Mahathir replied those allegations as 'baseless claims.'
He criticized Hamzah a mad person for proposing former Prime Minister Najib Razak, an enemy in the eyes of Dr Mahathir, to support the latter.
"He told me he would be getting Umno people to join Bersatu. I said OK but there is a condition for one to join Bersatu. One has to become an independent MP first then we would access whether he is qualified. If you are an evil person, then we would not accept you to join Bersatu.
"But he told Najib to support me. He is insane. He even said I can leave Pakatan Harapan to form a new political party. I said no. I would not do such thing."
'Muhyiddin plotted Bersatu's withdrawal from PH'
Dr Mahathir said it was Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin who plotted the withdrawal of Bersatu from Pakatan Harapan. That was the reason why Muhyiddin appeared as a dark horse and became the Prime Minister.
"We had a Bersatu meeting. Despite the supreme council of Bersatu decided to leave Pakatan Harapan, I did not.
"They gave me a week to decide. During the week, they had a meeting with PAS and Najib at Sheraton (Hotel). Of course, Muhyiddin had planned for this. Prior to getting my consent, he wanted to be separated from Pakatan Harapan as he had said that this was for the Malay Muslim government and the DAP would destroy the Malays. (Muhyiddin said) I had to act immediately. I asked why do you want to act now? Why can't you wait first? (Muhyiddin) said the act must be carried out now. He wanted to pull out from Pakatan Harapan so that the coalition would collapse. Then he wanted me to lead this new political alliance which included Najib.
"He knew I would not do it. He said he would do it. Therefore, I told him to carry on if he wanted to do it. I would not," said Dr Mahathir.
Dr Mahathir said that was how Muhyiddin became the candidate for Prime Minister under Bersatu.
"This was how he became the Prime Minister candidate under Bersatu. It should not be this way. Bersatu did not decide to allow him to join other political parties. We did not make the decision but he did. He has violated party constitution. When you want to join another political party, you need to debate the matter at the supreme council. Do it if we can accept. But the supreme council did not convene meeting and he joined the Perikatan Nasional and Najib. Those were his decision and not a party decision.
"This was why we thought his joining of Perikatan was not valid. The party did not make such decision.
"The same for pulling out from Pakatan Harapan. The supreme council decided to pull out. I pleaded with them not to take action. Muhyiddin then said we gave Dr Mahathir a week to decide and did not make the decision to withdraw. But they left.
"On the same night he was dining with PAS and Umno. Later they informed me about the invitation. I said no. I would not attend."