Nurul Izzah stopped Mahathir from quitting Pakatan

PETALING JAYA: The post-BN Malaysia almost didn't come to be as the man who is now tasked with leading the country to a new dawn almost threw in his hat.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad nearly quit the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition last year, before PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar stopped him with a personal plea.

DAP strategist Liew Chin Tong, in an interview with Oriental Daily today, said Mahathir, 92, had written a letter to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to pull the party from the pact.

The letter was written last year before Mahathir left for London for the Hari Raya holidays.

"It was over differences in opinion on PH's leadership structure. All four parties could not reach an agreement. Nurul Izzah rushed to London to see Dr Mahathir and managed to convince him to stay," Liew said in the interview.

PH reached a stalemate when it could not settle the leadership structure and name its office bearers, which was necessary for the registration of the coalition as a party under the Registrar of Societies.

The registration was also needed to enable PH parties to contest under the same logo in the 14th General Election.

Soon after the London meeting, PH named Dr Mahathir as the pact's chairman while Nurul Izzah's father Anwar Ibrahim was made de facto leader, and her mother, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, became PH president.

"It was the historic meeting between Nurul Izzah and Dr Mahathir, which changed everything," Liew told the Chinese daily.

When asked about Liew's relevation, Nurul Izzah declined to comment. "Let it remain a secret in history," the Permatang Pauh MP told Malaysia Decides.