Dr M: Dewan Rakyat to decide the next PM

Dewan Rakyat will be called on March 2 in order to determine if anyone can get majority support to become the next PM


THE Yang di-Pertuan Agong has called on Parliament to decide who will become Malaysia’s next prime minister (PM) after the King’s meeting with all the MPs reached a dead end.

Interim PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) said Dewan Rakyat will be called on March 2, a week earlier from the actual schedule, for members of the lower house to cast their votes. Failure to reach a majority, however, will result in a snap election.

“The result is he cannot find anybody with a distinct majority. To get a majority, he said, the right call would be (through) Parliament. So, Dewan Rakyat will be called on March 2 in order to determine if anyone can get majority support in the house to become the next PM.

“However, if it fails to find a person who commands majority, then we will have to go for a snap election,” Dr Mahathir said during a press conference on the economic stimulus package in Putrajaya yesterday.

The political rivalry between Dr Mahathir and PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has been complicated by changes of allegiance, calls for fresh polls and claims of support for other candidates including Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Dr Mahathir, who confirmed his reappointment as Bersatu chairman, said a meeting was held with Muhyiddin where the two discussed possible scenarios including the latter’s candidacy for the PM role. It has not been decided yet if there will be two PM candidates from Bersatu, Dr Mahathir said.

“Of course, my position is I will not accept Umno as a component party, but I will accept members who are not with Umno, but Muhyiddin is a little bit more relaxed on that. He is prepared to accept them overall,” the 94-year-old said, adding that he was “okay” with Muhyiddin’s candidacy if he has support.

On whether Bersatu will rejoin Pakatan Harapan (PH) after its sudden exit, Dr Mahathir said he will have to discuss the matter with party members.

The world’s oldest head of government has proposed a unified administration without political party allegiances. Anwar, who has been waiting to become PM for 20 years, has been named as the PM candidate by three parties from the former PH ruling coalition.

In explaining the concept of a unity government, Dr Mahathir said: “The members of Cabinet will be individuals although they may come from parties or nonparties. Of course, they will still have connection to their parties, but they will not represent the party. They will serve the portfolio allotted.”