Dr Mahathir Mohamad today maintained that Pejuang would not involve itself with other parties while confirming a meeting with Muhyiddin Yassin at which he said the Bersatu president had asked for his support.
The Pejuang chairman said his party would follow its own path even after its defeat at the March 12 election in Johor which saw all 42 candidates losing their deposits.
“Many might not like that party because of racial differences and so on.
“Because of this, we will remain apart from the other parties so that we do not become embroiled,” he said in a press conference at Yayasan Al-Bukhari.
He also said he was unsure why his former ally had done this as Pejuang was not a strong party and was in fact fresh from election defeats in Johor and Melaka.
“We are not strong and we have no funds, but we were asked to support him (Muhyiddin),” he said.
“I do not know what to say, as the reason I am no longer prime minister is because Muhyiddin stabbed me in the back.
“Now, when others whom he stabbed in the back as well are still alive, he comes to ask for help.”
Yesterday, Pejuang president Mukhriz Mahathir was reported as saying that Muhyiddin had met with Mahathir to propose an alliance for the 15th general election (GE15).
Mukhriz also acknowledged that his father’s ties with the Bersatu leader had been “cold” due to the previous crises.
The meeting between the two leaders was believed to have been their first face-to-face encounter since the so-called Sheraton Move which witnessed the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government in early 2020.
When asked if there were other factors that could enable Pejuang to work with Bersatu, Mahathir only smiled.
He said Muhyiddin had not been a good prime minister which made it difficult for him to obtain the support of certain quarters.
“If he had done something big for Malaysia, he wouldn’t need to ask for my help in order to win,” he added.
Mahathir said Pejuang had yet to decide whether to form a new coalition ahead of GE15.
He said this would be difficult as there were some who might not like the other components if an alliance was formed.
Nevertheless, he also said that his bloc was ready to work with political parties that opposed corruption and bribery during election season.
He referred to claims that the party had lost the previous state election due to bribery among voters who were given cash of RM200 to RM300.
He said this would eventually reach the point where voters asked how much they would receive for their support.
“And many ask, not just one or two,” he added. “We have no money to give, we are a party that is against corruption.
“We want to win because people support us, not because we hand out money.”