Mahathir denies involvement in alleged ‘Dubai Move’; PAS Chief asserts democratic support

The alleged “Dubai Move” is a reference to a plot purportedly hatched by opposition leaders within the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition, along with other party leaders, aimed at toppling the current administration led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has explicitly denied any connection to the purported “Dubai Move,” while PAS (Parti Islam Se-Malaysia) Chief Abdul Hadi Awang asserts that his party can rely on democratic principles to secure parliamentary support without resorting to clandestine tactics.

The alleged “Dubai Move” is a reference to a plot purportedly hatched by opposition leaders within the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition, along with other party leaders, aimed at toppling the current administration led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim. PAS is a component party within the PN coalition, and the leaders involved in the alleged plan were said to have convened during a gathering in Dubai in December.

Former Prime Minister Mahathir, for the first time, distanced himself from any involvement in the so-called “Dubai Move.” Utilizing social media platform X, he conveyed that he hadn’t visited Dubai for an extended period. Contrarily, Mahathir characterized the formation of a backdoor government as Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s “speciality.” He alluded to Anwar’s past endeavour to overthrow the government on September 16, 2008, and the 2014 “Kajang Move.”

The September 16, 2008, incident involved Anwar’s plan to topple the then-Barisan Nasional (BN) government by claiming majority support from BN MPs. However, the plan failed when then-Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi rejected Anwar’s proposal for a special Dewan Rakyat sitting. Additionally, the “Kajang Move” pertains to an attempt by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to replace then-Selangor Chief Minister Abdul Khalid Ibrahim with Anwar, citing non-alignment with party policies.

Mahathir, in his post, took a dig at Anwar, suggesting that attempts to form a backdoor government are deemed acceptable as long as Anwar achieves the position of prime minister. He noted strategies employed by Anwar, such as claiming to have the numbers and asserting a strong majority, stating that these were not considered rebellious or in violation of democratic principles.

Meanwhile, PAS Chief Abdul Hadi Awang emphasized the reliance on democratic tenets to garner support from Members of Parliament (MPs) for forming the government. The sentiment was echoed by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who urged opposition members to refrain from actions that “waste the people’s time” in the context of the alleged “Dubai Move.”