KUALA LUMPUR: An independent political bloc led by Mr Azmin Ali has called for national reconciliation amid the power vacuum in Putrajaya.
In a press statement on Wednesday (Feb 26), Mr Azmin along with 10 other former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) members of parliament pledged their support for interim prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
The statement noted that people wanted a stable government focused on resolving the issues confronting the country.
“To achieve this aspiration, politicians should leave behind their political differences. We want national reconciliation where parliamentarians prioritise the national agenda and the aspirations of the people," it said.
The statement further said that national reconciliation would happen under the leadership of Dr Mahathir. “We therefore reiterate our full support for Dr Mahathir as the prime minister for a full term to fulfill this national reconciliation,” it said.
On Sunday, Mr Azmin is said to have launched a bid with several ruling coalition lawmakers to join opposition groups in order to form a new coalition excluding Mr Anwar Ibrahim, the prime minister-in- waiting.
This intensified the speculation that Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), as well as Mr Azmin’s supporters, were leaving Pakatan Harapan (PH) and looking to form a new ruling coalition.
On Monday, Dr Mahathir submitted his resignation to the palace.
Although the king accepted the resignation, he immediately appointed him Dr Mahathir as the interim prime minister.
On the same day, Dr Mahathir is said to have informed Mr Anwar and Democratic Action Party (DAP) secretary-general Lim Guan Eng that he was not involved with attempts to form a new coalition.
Shortly after, Bersatu also announced that it has quit PH, while Mr Azmin and 10 other lawmakers declared their departure from PKR. This effectively meant that PH would no longer have a majority in the 222-seat parliament.
The same night, Mr Azmin’s bloc had released a statement saying that they are not traitors. They said the intention was to ensure Dr Mahathir will be allowed to serve his full term.
According to Malaysian media reports, Mr Azmin's bloc may be joining Bersatu.