Bersatu leader Ahmad Faizal Azumu today urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to investigate claims of a pact between PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim and Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi ahead of the Nov 19 polls.
Referring to remarks by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Nov 6, he said it was a serious allegation and that the public was entitled to the truth.
"This involves national interest, public confidence in the justice system and investor confidence in Malaysia," he added.
"This involves the future of our country, on whether we adhere to the rule of law or the rule of political expediency."
Mahathir had said that Anwar would help dismiss the charges against Zahid if he received the support needed to become prime minister.
The Pejuang chairman also claimed that former prime minister Najib Razak would be freed from jail, saying he had learnt that Anwar and Zahid had already held talks about working together.
In a statement, Faizal said Mahathir's disclosure should be seen in the context of the events that had taken place since September 2020, when Anwar said he had a "strong, formidable and convincing" majority to form a new government.
"Despite being pressed at the time, Anwar refused to say from where he would get the number of MPs to form a government. At that time, it was also clear to everyone that the numbers could only be obtained with the support of Zahid and Umno. It was a matter of simple arithmetic," he said.
Nearly two years later in April 2022, he said, Anwar had claimed that he was unable to form a government as he refused to agree to "guarantees" to release those embroiled in corruption charges.
"If this belated explanation is true, why did it take Anwar almost two years to say so? Why did he not say this in 2020? His 2022 explanation is thus unconvincing," the Bersatu deputy president said.
Mahathir's comments had echoed those of Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin, who earlier warned Umno members of a possible cooperation between their party president and Anwar if BN lacked the votes to form the government on its own after the polls.
Political analysts have not ruled out such a possibility, pointing to the two leaders' close ties dating back to their Umno days.