Dr Mahathir seeks parliamentary session

The former PM is confident he would gain the support needed during the Parliament special seating


TUN Dr Mahathir Mohamad (picture) said the Pakatan Harapan (PH) alliance is requesting for an urgent Parliament session to clear the impasse following the appointment of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the country’s eighth prime minister (PM).

The former PM said he had received the support of 114 MPs comprising lower house members of PH and other parties who had endorsed him as the eighth PM.

The Langkawi MP said he had more than the simple majority of 112 lawmakers to lead the country, but was not able to present the numbers to the King.

He said this in a press conference about an hour before Muhyiddin was sworn in at Istana Negara.

The appointment of the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) president as the PM ended the week-long political jostling for the country’s leadership, but PH is adamant the position is rightly theirs based on the support received by the alliance.

Dr Mahathir was confident he would gain the support needed during the Parliament special seating.

“The King has made a decision not to see me anymore, but will appoint Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as PM. I do not have a chance to tell the King that he does not have the majority.

“That is the situation now. I cannot communicate with the Palace,” he told the media in Kuala Lumpur yesterday morning.

Dr Mahathir stepped down as the PM last Monday, largely due to the alliance brokered by certain factions in his party with Umno to form a new government.

The 95-year-old yesterday reiterated his willingness to accept individual MPs from Umno, but rejected an en bloc crossover as some of the party leaders are facing criminal charges for various corruption and criminal charges.

The lower house was supposed to convene on March 9, but the decision now lies with Muhyiddin as the country’s PM.

Dr Mahathir also said the emergency Parliament sitting would prevent any lawmakers from being induced to cross over to the new Perikatan Nasional.

“People on our side may be offered to be ministers. They may be offered other things. “We feel that we have 114 (votes), but after the actions taken by these very rich and powerful people, we may not have 114,” Dr Mahathir said.

“So, the test of pudding is in the eating, hold the Parliament sitting now,” he added. Dr Mahathir’s block is dominated by PH coalition, comprising Parti Amanah Negara, PKR and DAP, totalling 92 seats.

Others include six MPs from Bersatu, Parti Warisan Sabah (9) and smaller parties from Sabah and independent lawmakers, according to a media release on Saturday evening.

But it is not known how many of the 114 lawmakers will continue to support Dr Mahathir.

The former PM had earlier called for the Parliament sitting to be held today (Monday), but it was declined by the speaker who said the request did not comply with the Standing Orders and subject to the King’s approval.

Dr Mahathir also said he felt betrayed by Muhyiddin and those who had forged the “backdoor government”, including former PKR deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.