KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Monday (Feb 25) that he did not need the support from opposition Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), amid persistent rumours of a no-confidence motion in the works within the ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition.
This comes a day after Dr Mahathir said he was puzzled by the attitude of PAS, who said it would back his premiership, only to announce later that it would avoid vying for the same seats with the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) in future elections.
“I don’t need support from PAS because PH already controls half the seats in Dewan Rakyat (Parliament),” he told reporters on Monday when asked to comment on PAS’ political position.
“If PAS wants to support me, they can do so, but don’t go telling me that a pledge of support has been signed but not for PH, only for me,” he added.
“I’m not the government, PH is.”
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PAS has claimed that there is a no-confidence motion against Dr Mahathir in the works within the PH coalition.
PAS’ top leaders have pledged in writing to support Dr Mahathir in the event of a “betrayal” within PH.
However, the Islamist party also said it would set up a committee to avoid overlap of seats contested in future elections with UMNO.
PAS and UMNO leaders had also appeared together during the nomination day for the Semenyih by-election, where voters will go to the polls on Mar 2.
PH leaders have rubbished talk of a no-confidence motion.
Over the weekend, Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s president Anwar Ibrahim urged PAS to stop the “deception”.
"As a Muslim, my advice is that we can carry on with our politics but we must put a stop to lying and deception in politics," he said.
"If they (PAS) want to use the political arena to tell lies and slander, don’t use the name of Islam. They are ruining the reputation of Islam and the name of the Islamic party,” the Port Dickson member of parliament added.
TIME NEEDED TO INVESTIGATE ALLEGATION THAT PAS RECEIVED FUNDS FROM 1MDB: MAHATHIR
On Monday, Dr Mahathir also said that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) needs time to investigate the allegation that PAS received RM90 million (US$22 million) from scandal-hit state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).
The money is said to have been given by UMNO to secure PAS’ support.
The prime minister said the MACC may not have obtained all the details in relation to the case.
“The MACC statement that there is so far no trace of RM90 million entering the official accounts of PAS from 1MDB may be because the MACC has yet to obtain the full details … it (the investigation) will take time,” Dr Mahathir said.
On Sunday, graft-busters had said they had found no evidence of a transaction from 1MDB to PAS.