KUALA LUMPUR: A government headed by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin may see "corrupt Umno leaders" making a comeback to Cabinet, said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairman said that Muhyiddin had persuaded him to exit Pakatan Harapan (PH) to ensure the party's survival.
"He persuaded me that we must get away from DAP. They (Muhyiddin and his supporters) claimed that it is because of DAP that PH did not do well in three by-elections.
"I told him I have the full support of PH, Pas and also from my party, and questioned why I must reject PH.
"But he insisted and even wanted to have Umno (as a party) in the bloc. This, I can't accept," he told reporters at Yayasan Al-Bukhary here, today.
Dr Mahathir said among the Umno members Muhyiddin is willing to work are politicians who are on trial.
"I refuse to work with people (Umno leaders) who are still facing trial in criminal court. So, I appealed to wait till after the trials. If they are found guilty, I cannot work with them.
"But the decision made now is to undermine PH, so (Muhyiddin and his supporters) can form a new government.
"To work with Umno now means that the government will include Najib (former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak) and others. And the court might find it embarrassing to take action against the (new) government.
"This happened during the Najib administration when they influenced decisions made (by the courts and government). This is what will happen.
"It is why I refuse to be a party to them, but Muhyiddin is willing to accept anything."
Dr Mahathir said for Muhyiddin, "politics is more important than principles".
"Whether I support Muhyiddin or not is irrelevant, but he went around saying I endorsed his candidacy as Prime Minister.
"Of course in the end, the palace decided to accept him as a candidate for the 8th PM.
"I will of course have to terminate my term as the interim PM," he added.
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