KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A one-to-one meeting has been held between Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak and former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysian media sources reported on Monday.
It comes hot on the heels of stinging remarks made by Tun Mahathir over the weekend, where he pressed openly for Datuk Seri Najib to step down to "save the country and Umno", their political party, and that the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) would lose power if he were to stay.
"I asked the Prime Minister what was going on between them. He said that Dr Mahathir was blowing hot and cold and that he (Najib) was confused at this," BN Back Benchers Club chief Shahrir Samad said on the sidelines in Parliament on Monday.
"Dr Mahathir does not know what we do at the grassroots level as he is at the top while we are at the bottom. When people at the top talk, they do not take into account the reality down here. That is why we normally keep quiet. But now we are speaking up," The Malaysian Insider quoted Tan Sri Shahrir as saying.
He added that other members of Parliament, including BN backbenchers, had met Dr Mahathir and that they had to speak up over the former prime minister's remarks, reported The Malaysian Insider.
Mr Shahrir, who was accompanied by more 20 BN MPs, described the attacks against Mr Najib as "personal and direct", and which had not been done openly.
Defending Mr Najib, Mr Shahrir said that BN lawmakers were throwing their support behind him as his leadership had brought positive transformation.
He added that BN lawmakers had decided to voice their support for Mr Najib as they were "satisfied and happy" at the transformation in Parliament, where even BN MPs could voice their views if they did not agree with the Government.
"The reason why we are doing this today is because we (do not)... give blind support.
"We stand behind the Prime Minister as we have seen the changes he has brought and we are satisfied and happy with it," he said.
Mr Shahrir expressed confidence that Mr Najib would answer the allegations against him in his own time.
Dr Mahathir had upped his criticism, claiming that BN could lose the 14th general election if Najib remained as prime minister.
He cited the poor handling of issues, such as the 1Malaysia Development Berhad case and the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.