KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 12 — The ability of the Conservative Party in the UK to stay in power despite its prime ministers resigning in succession showed that a government does not necessary collapse when its head departs, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today.
The former prime minister maintained that his resignation in February 2020 was not why Pakatan Harapan lost control of the government, adding that it was solely because Bersatu and a group of PKR lawmakers defected.
He insisted that the resignation of a prime minister did not necessarily mean that a ruling coalition has lost control of the government, and that prime ministers were not obligated to consult with their Cabinet before deciding to leave.
Dr Mahathir cited the example of the immediate past prime minister of the UK, Liz Truss, who resigned when she felt she no longer had her party’s support.
“That was also what I did. The difference is that the Conservative Party is still the government, even though Theresa May, Boris Johnson, Liz Truss all resigned. Now, Rishi Sunak is the PM of the Conservative government,” he said.
“What brought down the PH government was Mahiadin, Hamzah, and Azmin pulled out enough lawmakers from PH for it to lose its majority and fall,” he said, referring to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainuddin, and Datuk Seri Azmin Ali.
Dr Mahathir said the three should be to blame for the so-called “Sheraton Move”, adding that Anwar was also partly responsible for driving Azmin, his former deputy in PKR, into conspiring with Muhyiddin.
“Stop blaming me,” he concluded.
In 2018, Dr Mahathir led a motley band of PH and other Opposition parties at the time into an unexpected victory over Barisan Nasional, ending its over six decades of rule in Malaysia.
Less than two years later, the PH administration collapsed due to the “Sheraton Move”, allowing Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional to take over unelected.
Muhyiddin was later ousted by BN that installed Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the prime minister.
All three coalitions are currently vying to win control of the federal government, with Dr Mahathir’s own Gerakan Tanah Air coalition not seen as a likely contender.