“Now that Team A is at loggerheads with PAS over Perikatan Nasional and is at daggers drawn with PPBM, its leaders want to be seen as relevant and are trying very hard to blame Mahathir for the ‘sudden’ existence of Perikatan Nasional”
Raggie Jessy Rithaudeen
UMNO’s repeated attempt at justifying the change in government by blaming Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for resigning as Prime Minister proves the party is out of bullets and is desperate to regain lost support.
Earlier today, Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Hasbullah Osman (BN – Gerik) told the Dewan Rakyat that BN Members of Parliament were not responsible for the February change in government, that it was “the work of God.”
He also said it was impossible for anyone to discover why Dr Mahathir resigned and what the latter was thinking at the time.
This is a lie.
Truth is, one or two leaders from UMNO’s minority group (Team A) instigated another group within PPBM (hereinafter referred to as “the PPBM group”) on the pretext that PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was about to pounce on Mahathir and assume the role of Prime Minister.
The narrative was later spread among other PPBM leaders who began rallying behind Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on the basis that changing government was necessary to prevent an Anwar-led coup.
However, when the coup did not happen and was proven to be a lie, the PPBM group, which had entered all sorts of agreements with Team A and Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, pressed ahead with plans to collapse Pakatan Harapan.
To justify their actions, its leaders roped the DAP into the picture, arguing that the predominantly Chinese based party was causing both PPBM and Pakatan Harapan to lose Malay-Muslim support.
The PPBM group then issued an ‘ultimatum’ of sorts to Mahathir, telling him that PPBM was leaving Pakatan Harapan one way or the other, that if he joined them, he would remain as Prime Minister of a Perikatan Nasional led-government.
When Mahathir refused the offer on the basis that it would be odd for PPBM to work with people it fought against during the 14th general election, Muhyiddin soldiered ahead and distanced the party from Pakatan Harapan.
Under the circumstances, should Mahathir have remained Prime Minister, he would have been the leader of a coalition he was not in favour of due to the presence of problematic leaders from UMNO’s Team A.
It is for this reason, above all, that he tendered his resignation.
Now that UMNO-PAS is losing more and more Malay-Muslim support day by day as evinced from a drop in Barisan Nasional’s performance in Chini, PAS is beginning to realise that Team A is damaged goods it can do without.
This explains why the Islamic party insists on participating in the 15th general election under the Perikatan Nasional banner, a move Team A seems dead against.
Reason being, should UMNO suddenly agree to register Perikatan Nasional and enter the election with PPBM and PAS, Muhyiddin will get all the credit in the unlikelihood that Perikatan Nasional wins the election.
If, on the other hand, UMNO agrees to register Muafakat Nasional, PAS will get the credit for votes UMNO receives as everyone knows Team A is clinging on to PAS for Malay-Muslim support due to the erosion in its own support.
Now that Team A is at loggerheads with PAS over Perikatan Nasional and is at daggers drawn with PPBM, its leaders want to be seen as relevant and are trying very hard to blame Mahathir for the ‘sudden’ existence of Perikatan Nasional.
That explains why Hasbullah is blaming Mahathir for the February change in government.