PUTRAJAYA • Tun Mahathir Mohamad has claimed that Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Umno's most senior MP, was among several party leaders secretly seeking to oust Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak but switched camps after failing to secure support from other MPs.
"He came and met me and said he wants to push for a no-confidence vote. He said he can get the majority but he failed," the former premier was quoted as saying by the Malay Mail Online.
"He started the move to have a no-confidence vote and ended up declaring support to the same person," he added.
In what was described as a "stunning disclosure" by the news site, Dr Mahathir told a press conference it was not the first time Tengku Razaleigh had betrayed him.
"I have been betrayed by him many times. When he lost party elections, he took the party to court and I had to rebuild the party," said the former premier. "What would you expect from a person like that?"
Tengku Razaleigh caused a stir last Thursday when a photograph of him signing a document dubbed the Kelantan Declaration to pledge support for Mr Najib was uploaded online, The Star reported.
Dr Mahathir recently joined forces with the opposition and endorsed a 37-point document known as the Citizens' Declaration to seek Mr Najib's removal. The 90-year- old will appear as a keynote speaker at the anti-Najib "People's Congress 2016" at the Shah Alam Convention Centre today.
Mr Najib, who is under siege for allegations of corruption linked to the debt-laden state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad and deposits in his private accounts worth around US$680 million (S$933 million), has been sued by Dr Mahathir for alleged graft and abuse of power.