Pro-tem Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) president Mukhriz Mahathir has defended his father Dr Mahathir Mohamad after PKR blamed the former premier for the ongoing defections of MPs to Bersatu.
Mukhriz had taken issue with PKR’s Setiawangsa MP who claimed Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was taking a page out of Mahathir’s playbook.
Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad was referencing Bersatu’s recruitment of Umno MPs while Mahathir was in charge.
He also noted that those Umno MPs later turned on Mahathir in favour of Muhyiddin, resulting in Mahathir’s expulsion from Bersatu and his move to set up another party – Pejuang.
“In Nik Nazmi’s eagerness to make (PKR president) Anwar Ibrahim the prime minister, you are blaming everyone else, and particularly Mahathir, for PKR’s failures.
“To date, Mahathir is consistent in fighting corruption and clearly he has not benefited from the Sheraton Move involving former PKR MPs and former Umno MPs who joined Bersatu,” he said in a statement.
Mukhriz added that while he was in Bersatu, he had also raised concerns about accepting certain Umno MPs.
“However, Muhyiddin used his power as the president to reject my proposals,” he said.
Mukhriz also questioned why Mahathir was being blamed for the factionalism in PKR.
“PKR also should not pretend that they were sincere and gentlemen when Pakatan Harapan was in power.
“PAS’ (Tumpat MP) Che Abdullah Mat Nawi had revealed that Anwar tried to get PAS’ support for a no-confidence vote against Mahathir while Harapan was still the government.
“That was a case of backstabbing,” he said.
The Harapan government collapsed in February last year after Muhyiddin took Bersatu out of the coalition and joined forces with PKR defectors to form a new government with the help of the then opposition.
A period of uncertainty preceded the collapse as both Mahathir and Anwar distrusted each other and sought to secure MPs for “insurance”.
Anwar was worried that Mahathir would not keep his word to hand over power while Mahathir feared Anwar would oust him before he was ready to leave.