PETALING JAYA • Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad said yesterday that he will quit the so-called Pakatan Plus opposition pact, after Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) rejected the pact’s proposal for him to be prime minister for six months if they returned to government, before handing over the post to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim.
Tun Dr Mahathir was responding to a question during an interview with Sin Chew Daily.
Pakatan Plus refers to the loose coalition comprising Pakatan Harapan (PH) parties PKR, Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Amanah Negara, as well as Parti Warisan Sabah and lawmakers loyal to Dr Mahathir.
The 94-year-old statesman said he would not contact PKR nor Datuk Seri Anwar for any more talks on future cooperation.
“I won’t cooperate with him (Anwar) because he doesn’t want to work with me. I need to find other ways to become PM,” he said.
Dr Mahathir helmed the PH government after it won the general election in May 2018, with the coalition agreeing that Mr Anwar would eventually take over as prime minister.
PH, however, lost its majority in Parliament in late February after dozens of its MPs left to form Perikatan Nasional, now the country’s ruling pact.
PH and its allies have been struggling to agree on leadership and to muster the parliamentary numbers to seize back power.
Dr Mahathir said he would continue working with DAP and Amanah because they supported him as the candidate for prime minister.
PKR has said Mr Anwar should be prime minister in a PH government. Mr Anwar told Channel News Asia in an interview that Dr Mahathir could be offered a role as senior minister or minister mentor.
However, Dr Mahathir told Sin Chew Daily yesterday he would not accept any other position.
SIN CHEW DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK