PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad predicts that the new Cabinet of his successor Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will last until the next general election.
The former prime minister also admitted that a vote of no-confidence against Mr Muhyiddin was likely to fail.
He also claimed it was former premier Najib Razak who was behind the conspiracy to topple the Pakatan Harapan government.
"It (Cabinet) will last until the next general election. Now that he (Mr Muhyiddin) is government, he can give 'sweets' to many. I find that some of those who used to be my supporters have now been appointed ministers, and they have moved to that side.
"We had more than 114 seats (in Parliament) but now, that has become lesser.
"Even if we mooted the vote of no-confidence (against the Prime Minister) in the Dewan Rakyat, it may not succeed. This is because he had taken those who used to take my side.
"Of course, when he offers (others) to be ministers, it would be difficult for people to refuse. I can't offer anything," said Dr Mahathir.
He said this during an exclusive interview with Malay daily Sinar Harian on March 10 (Tuesday). It was the first time he had given an interview to the media since his resignation on Feb 24.
Dr Mahathir also said that he hoped Mr Muhyiddin would continue the policies that he had put in place when he was the seventh prime minister for 22 months under Pakatan before it collapsed.
"I ask that the Cabinet not drop the good policies which we made. For example, the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030. It is a good policy, and the one who created it then is also in the current Cabinet," said Dr Mahathir.
In the interview Dr Mahathir blamed Najib for being the main perpetrator behind the fall of the Pakatan government.
"The real conspirator was Najib. When he lost (in last general election), he got the idea that if he created a Malay Muslim government, he will get more support from the Malays.
"This is why he tried for so long but his approach was not effective and failed, and we won (in the last election)," said Dr Mahathir.
He said Najib and Parti Islam SeMalaysia stressed the Malay Muslim and "bad DAP (Democratic Action Party)" narrative to gain support from his party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, to build a Malay government.
"Suddenly, the ones who lost became winners and the ones who won are said to have lost. This is the real conspiracy.
"Is it me? Why should I create a conspiracy because I was already the PM then. I thought as I was the PM, when the time came, I would resign and that was not a problem," said Dr Mahathir.
He said Najib wanted to quickly regain his powers as he was undergoing trial for corruption cases involving state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad and that he might soon be punished.
"Now, they have won," said Dr Mahathir.