Mahathir Faction Parts Ways With PH; Backs Shafie

DR MAHATHIR MOHAMAD

KOTA KINABALU: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Bersatu MPs aligned to him parted ways with Pakatan Harapan today.

The separation follows his faction’s disagreement with the PH decision to stick to its original plan of backing PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the opposition’s prime ministerial candidate.

Until today Dr Mahathir’s faction and Parti Warisan Sabah had aligned themselves to PH as what was billed as the PH Plus coalition.

In a statement Dr Mahathir said his group, now seen to be an independent bloc, was standing by an earlier decision to nominate Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal for the top job.

“Although the PH presidential council has named Anwar as the candidate, that does not involve me and friends from Bersatu or Warisan,” he said.

The statement was jointly signed by Dr Mahathir, his son Mukhriz, Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Mazlee Malik,Amiruddin Hamzah and Shahruddin Md Salleh.

“We made a decision to stick with Warisan as an independent bloc inside and outside of parliament. We will not join forces with any coalition.”

He said they would adhere to the decision taken following discussions between him and the leaders of Warisan, Amanah and DAP on June 25.

He added that DAP and Amanah were the ones who had nominated Shafie with Anwar and Mukhriz as his deputies.

“My friends and I in Bersatu agreed and supported the proposal because we wanted to resolve the impasse by choosing the right candidate who could get the support to return the people’s mandate.”

He said the meeting had resolved that he would make a statement on the matter.

“After that announcement was made, DAP and Amanah attended the PH presidential council meeting on July 6 from which we were absent and did not name Shafie but Anwar instead as the prime ministerial candidate,” he said.

“To us, nominating Shafie as prime minister is a positive step that must be taken, we believe he will be able to get majority support.

“It is also a step forward in enhancing relations between the peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.”