by AZREEN HANI / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
PERIKATAN Nasional (PN) led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (picture) remains the legitimate government, unless there are more withdrawals from its coalition members.
Despite having the support of only 110 MPs out of 220 (two seats, Batu Sapi and Gerik were left vacant for now), analysts told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) that Muhyiddin still has the upper hand in the current situation.
However, the prime minister (PM) may have to seek a royal audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah for further deliberation on the latest political upheaval.
“Of course by the status quo, PN remains and the PM can call the shots, but it is incumbent upon the PM to inform the Agong on what is happening,” political analyst Dr Ahmad Atory Hussain told TMR yesterday.
On Saturday, Umno/BN MP Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub announced that he has withdrawn support from Muhyiddin-led PN government.
“I hereby announce that I am withdrawing my support from the PN government led by Muhyiddin, effective today,” he said at a press conference in Kota Baru, Kelantan.
Apart from Ahmad Jazlan, Umno veteran Tengku Tan Sri Razaleigh Hamzah has been withholding support to PN as he questioned the government’s legitimacy.
Last Monday, Ahmad Jazlan had also tendered his resignation as the Malaysian Palm Oil Board chairman as a sign of protest of the PN government.
“It is up for their wisdom and discretion on the next course of action,” he added.
In Malaysia, the government is considered having an absolute majority by having the support of 112 MPs out of 222.
The withdrawal of Ahmad Jazlan would mean there is a hung Parliament — the first in the nation’s history as no party or coalition commands an absolute majority.
Meanwhile, in a Bernama report, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the government is not affected by Ahmad Jazlan’s move.
“I learnt about it from the media yesterday. I do not know his objective or intention. In any case, the existing government is still legitimate and has enough MPs,” he was quoted as saying in the report.
Another political analyst Dr Hoo Ke Ping also expressed similar sentiment, on the ground of technicality.
“Muhyiddin still can call the shots — to either seek Parliament dissolution or remain as the PM. Technically, he still has the majority because there is no session in Dewan Rakyat to show otherwise,” Hoo said.
“Technically, on paper he has 110, but anything can happen outside of the Dewan,” he said, stressing that the Opposition has not presented an alternative leader for any possible outcome.
Hoo said it may be unlikely for the 15th General Election (GE15) to be called amid the rising Covid-19 infections in the country.
“So, the King can decide to appoint a PM by decree to avoid GE15 and Muhyiddin’s name could still be considered for the PM post,” he explained.
Still, Hoo noted that Muhyiddin might not be able to govern efficiently as more Umno MPs could abandon the ruling coalition per media reports.
Padang Rengas MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz told Free Malaysia Today news portal that more Umno leaders might follow Ahmad Jazlan’s footsteps.
“It may happen all together, it may happen one by one,” he was quoted as saying at an event in Kuala Lumpur.
Read our earlier report