Hard to trust Muhyiddin after betrayal, says Dr M

‘Muhyiddin said principles were not important; what mattered was politics,’ says Pejuang chairman

by FAYYADH JAAFAR / graphic by M ZUKRI

PARTI Pejuang Tanah Air chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said it is impossible to trust Perikatan Nasional (PN) leader Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin after the latter abandoned the struggle against Umno to form a government with what he described as “kleptocratic forces”.

“We must not forget that the people of Johor rejected Umno in the last general election. This shows that the people of Johor cannot accept Umno’s support for criminals,” he wrote in an open letter to Johor voters yesterday.

“Unfortunately, the success was derailed when Bersatu (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia) president Muhyiddin, who wanted to be prime minister (PM), was willing to turn his back on voters and allies in Pakatan Harapan (PH) to achieve his ambitions.

“When the Sheraton Move was taken, I asked if he was willing to set aside principles and work with kleptocrats and the Umno court cluster. Muhyiddin said principles were not important; what mattered was politics,” said Dr Mahathir.

Explaining his reason for forming a new party — Pejuang — Dr Mahathir said it is simply because Bersatu, which he founded, no longer holds and defends the ideals it originally stood for.

“We believe Muhyiddin will be betrayed by the kleptocracy. I have been reminded that working with kleptocrats and Umno court clusters is like riding a tiger, and he will eventually be devoured,” said the 96-year-old leader.

Previously, he had repeatedly criticised former PM Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak.

“As he continues to try to cover up his wrongdoing of stealing people’s property and trying to use politics to purify himself, I have no choice but to continue to remind the people of the crimes he has committed,” Dr Mahathir added.

Separately, one of the youngest election candidates for the upcoming Johor election, Airel Zabridin (picture), said he will strive hard to make sure that the voices of the younger generation are heard and to represent their interests in the coming state election.

At 26, Airel, who is representing Pejuang, are in a five-corner fight against Barisan Nasional, PH, PN and an independent candidate in the Tangkak state seat.

“Although Pejuang is a new party, it is a principled party and I believe we will have a place in the poll,” he said in an interview yesterday, adding that the party has received a positive response from the public since its establishment. We want to go our own way without having to compromise our principles. Independence is important to us,” Airel said when asked why the party is not contesting under any coalition.

He pledges to empower the youths in Tangkak, as well as to develop rural communities, should he get elected in the March 12 poll.