KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 23 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad could supplant Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as chairman of Perikatan Nasional (PN), according to Umno’s Datuk Salleh Said Keruak.
This is the second time Salleh, a former federal minister of communications and multimedia and a past Sabah chief minister, has alluded to a possible change in the PN leadership, with the latest in the wake of a meeting between the coalition’s deputy chairman Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang and Dr Mahathir.
“It is therefore apparent that Hadi would like to keep the momentum of the green wave going and continue to reap its gains,” Salleh said in a Facebook post yesterday.
He was referring to a meeting between the four menteri besar from the PN-controlled states with Dr Mahahtir on September 4.
He said the move may have surprised many political quarters because they would not expect such political foresight from Hadi, who is also PAS president.
Salleh said the PAS leader chose Dr Mahathir because of the latter's political track record that is touted as“far more impressive”.
“That’s why PMX correctly does not take Muhyiddin as a serious threat,” he said, referring to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
He said Hadi is determined to keep PAS’ gains during the recent six state elections and by-elections in the peninsula.
“How badly Muhyiddin would have taken this new development, we do not know but we all know how ambitious he is politically,” the Usukan assemblyman said.
He said it is unlikely that Muhyiddin will take this lightly and there is a possibility that the latter who is also Bersatu president may explore and consider other options to safeguard political interests and ambitions.
“I believe that just like Tun Mahathir, Muhyiddin also believes that in politics there is no permanent enemy,” he said.
Salleh had voiced his views of Dr Mahathir becoming the “de facto leader” of PN last week, after the four menteri besar of Terengganu, Kelantan, Kedah and Perlis met and named the 98-year-old as the unofficial adviser to their collective grouping, which they called SG4, short for state governments four.