Uncomfortable being PM without the people's mandate, says Muhyiddin

28 Feb 2022 08:39am
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin

MUAR: “I often met the Yang di-Pertuan Agong during my time as Prime Minister and expressed my discomfort of being chosen to be one without the people’s mandate.

“However, the King explained that the situation at the time did not allow for a (general) election to be held due to the Covid-19 pandemic and that I must be responsible for the people affected,” said Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

He said this during an exclusive interview with Sinar Harian when he recalled the first moments of being appointed as the eighth Prime Minister to lead the country in March 2020.

He said the process of forming the PN government via the support of a majority of the MPs had to be done following the abrupt resignation of Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Pagoh MP revealed that the Umno and Pas leadership with Bersatu had agreed to work together to form a government and chose him to be the prime minister.

“To save the country from the crisis (politics and Covid-19 pandemic), we (Umno-Pas-Bersatu) agreed to form a government.

“The PN government should continue uninterrupted but unfortunately, because I did not comply with their demands (some Umno court cluster leaders), I was attacked.

“I have said this for months,” he said.

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After leading the PN government for 15 months, Muhyiddin, who was nicknamed ‘Abah’, finally resigned from the position on Aug 16, 2021.

The decision was made after 15 Umno MPs, led by the party’s president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, withdrew support for him.

Muhyiddin further revealed that he could not compromise himself to intervene in former prime minister Najib Razak and Zahid, who were also ex-deputy prime minister, court cases.

He did mention he felt ‘pity’ and sympathise with them.

He said if he did get involved in these cases, people would eventually find out that the PN government had been ‘working behind the scene’ in setting the court cases aside.

Muhyiddin stressed that he had no intentions to interfere in the affairs of the judiciary.