In his first public address as the eighth Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin stressed that he is not a traitor and only wanted to save the country from the week-long political turmoil
Muhyiddin said he did not plan to become the prime minister since the beginning, but only intended so when both candidates for the prime minister post fail to secure a majority, reported New Straits Times.
"From the start, I and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) gave our full support to Dr Mahathir Mohamad, but he did not get the support of other MPs," said Muhyiddin during his 12-minute-long speech yesterday night, 2 March.
"Therefore, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong took the wise decision to invite party leaders to propose another candidate who might get the majority support of the Dewan Rakyat."
He related that it was at the moment, Bersatu and other parties nominated him as their PM candidate.
"According to them, I had the majority support," Muhyiddin said
The 72-year-old premier said he thought deeply before making the decision to accept the nomination as he was still loyal to Dr Mahathir.
"What kinds of options did I have? Support Dr Mahathir, who did not have the majority support, or accept the PM post," Muhyiddin said.
If I support Dr Mahathir, the crisis would continue and it might lead to snap elections.
"In this situation, as a leader, I had to seek a solution."
Muhyiddin then went to meet Dr Mahathir and requested the then interim prime minister to support him. According to him, Dr Mahathir agreed to pass the baton to him as long as he could gather a majority.
It was after the agreement, Muhyiddin accepted the premiership.
The former Home Minister in the Pakatan Harapan government said that he is aware that there are people who are angry and label him a traitor
To that, Muhyiddin reiterated that he only wanted to save the country from being dragged further into crisis.
He went on to say that his new Cabinet will comprise of clean individuals with calibre. He promised that the new government will continue to fight corruption and increase administrative integrity.
Muhyiddin then invited Malaysians in rebuilding the country and restoring Malaysia back to its glory days
He said that with his 40 years of experience in the governance of the country, he is committed to putting his "heart and soul" into the development of the country.
Muhyiddin said his administration will focus on healthcare services, education, and the implementation of the Shared Prosperity Vision 2030 (SPV2030).
He also said he is the prime minister for all Malaysians, from Perlis to Sabah.
"Whether you are Malay, Chinese, Indian, Sikh, Iban, Kadazan, Dusun, Murut, natives, or whichever ethnic group, I am a prime minister for all," assured Muhyiddin.
"Whether you are a farmer, fisherman, businessman, civil servant, private sector employee, I am your prime minister."
On the day Muhyiddin was sworn in as the eighth Prime Minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he felt "betrayed":