Muhyiddin Counting the Days

By Newmond Tibin


KOTA KINABALU: The famous song of Kris Dayanti “Menghitung hari” is very popular in Malaysia.

Unexpectedly, the literal meaning of the song is being felt by the number one leader of the country.

This coming September will be a “critical” month for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s leadership.

In what is seen as a triggering factor, at least 15 Umno MPs, including two from Sabah, have declared to withdraw their support for Muhyiddin.

This does not include opposition and independent MPs who have agreed en bloc to reject Muhyiddin.

Following the withdrawal of support and combined together with the opposition and independent MPs, Muhyiddin has mathematically or technically lost the majority of support.

However, the Prime Minister insisted otherwise, stressing that he was ready to face a motion of vote of confidence in the next Parliamentary sitting slated for September.

Many political observers argued that “nothing is impossible in politics” and said that declarations of support made outside Parliament do not necessarily translate into votes when a vote is held in Parliament.

According to them, as long as it has not been debated and subsequently voted in Parliament, “the game of politics is still open”.

As Muhyiddin counts the days, especially after having an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah on Wednesday before the weekly meeting of the federal cabinet, the Bersatu president is now said to be weighing several options.

According to reports from several national news portals, one of the options is to resign or the other is to dissolve Parliament to allow general elections to be called.

The News Portal report also cited sources about the reminder given by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to the Prime Minister with regard to the Article 43 (4) of the Federal Constitution during the meeting at Istana Negara.

Article 43(4) of the federal constitution stipulates that the prime minister shall tender his resignation if he ceases to command the confidence of the House, or advises the king to dissolve Parliament and make way for an election.

Following the latest development, the Prime Minister on Wednesday evening held a two-hour meeting with several key party leaders in the Perikatan Nasional (PN) at Perdana Putra in Putrajaya.

According to BERNAMA, among those present were Sarawak Chief Minister who is also Sarawak Party Coalition (GPS) Chairman Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and MCA President who is also Transport Minister Dr Wee Ka Siong.

However, according to The Vibes, insiders was quoted as saying that cabinet members persuaded Muhyiddin to stay on and that he should test his legitimacy in Parliament, as was previously decided.

But with mounting pressure, the prime minister is believed to be considering bringing forward the confidence vote to as early as next week or August 18.

Political observers predict that if the Prime Minister really resigns, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim are amongst the favourites to take over the coveted post.

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