Umno MPs today blamed former prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, for the removal of Dewan Rakyat speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, stating that it would not have happened if he had remained as prime minister.
They said this while debating Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s motion to remove Ariff (below) in the Dewan Rakyat today.
“All these happened because of Tun (Mahathir), because of Langkawi who quit. That’s why there is a change in the speaker.
“We BN, PAS, GPS were asked to support Tun as the prime minister but unfortunately Tun resigned so we were forced to choose someone else.
“When Tun quit, we had no choice but to choose Pagoh (Muhyiddin) as prime minister,” Shahidan Kassim (BN-Arau) said when debating the motion.
Bung Moktar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) then interjected that he, too, wanted Mahathir as prime minister.
“We wanted Tun but he decided to resign so just accept it. A new government has been formed, there is nothing wrong.
“Last time when Tun appointed Latheefa Koya to the MACC and Tommy Thomas ‘rock and roll’ as (attorney-general), we did not question it either.
“The prime minister just wants a speaker that is in line with the government in the interest of the people,” he said.
Shahidan (below) then offered Mahathir to respond. Mahathir maintained that he cannot work with Umno.
“I choose who I want to cooperate with. When given the choice to cooperate with Umno, Umno is not the same Umno that was founded.
“It has been hijacked by certain people. Therefore, I cannot cooperate with Umno,” said Mahathir, who led Umno for 22 years.
Bung Moktar then stood up to say that they were merely following Mahathir’s example.
“You were the one who taught us how to run Umno, we are only following Tun’s teaching,” he said.
Earlier, Mahathir had also debated the motion for the opposition where he spoke against Ariff’s removal.
He maintained that having “another candidate” is not a legitimate reason to remove the speaker.
“If (the speaker) dies or if he is too sick to work, then yes (we can replace him), but this is because he (Muhyiddin) has a different candidate.
“I also have a different candidate for the prime minister,” Mahathir quipped, which garnered laughter from the other MPs.
The motion was eventually approved along partisan lines with 111 in favour and 109 against.
Ariff is set to be replaced with former Election Commission chairperson Azhar Azizan Harun.