‘Impossible’ for Malaysian PM Muhyiddin to command a parliamentary majority: Opposition
The opposition has also urged the prime minister to hold a special parliamentary meeting no later than Aug 9 so that the motion of confidence can be tabled and debated.
KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakatan Harapan coalition and several other Malaysian lawmakers on Wednesday (Aug 4) rejected the leadership of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, after the latter stated that he continued to command a parliamentary majority.
“It is impossible for Tan Sri Mahiaddin to still command the support of majority of MPs, after yesterday's announcement that a number of government MPs have withdrawn their support.
"We maintain our position that Tan Sri Mahiaddin and the whole Cabinet must resign,” they said in a joint statement.
The statement was signed off by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Anwar Ibrahim as well as the leaders of the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah).
Four other lawmakers, including an independent politician, two MPs from Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) and an MP from the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO), were also among the signees.
Mahiaddin Md Yasin is the prime minister's official name, although he is widely known as Muhyiddin Yassin.
On Tuesday, United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claimed that he has gathered a sufficient number of statutory declarations (SDs) from party lawmakers who are withdrawing their support for Mr Muhyiddin. As such, Mr Muhyiddin has lost his parliamentary majority, he said.
A minister from UMNO also resigned from the Cabinet on Tuesday. Mr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah, who is Lenggong MP, said in a statement that he is stepping down as the energy and natural resources minister after taking party decisions into consideration.
However, Mr Muhyiddin insisted on Wednesday that he still commands a parliamentary majority, adding that he has received SDs from MPs who pledged their support.
He said he will prove his majority in the parliament next month.
"I am aware that my position as prime minister always gets questioned.
"Therefore, I have informed the king that I will prove my legitimacy as prime minister in the parliament. A motion of confidence will be tabled when the parliament meets in September," he said.
He urged all public servants, especially the frontliners, to carry out their duties without being affected by the political turmoil created by "certain parties".
"I know they are not happy with my insistence to not entertain some of their demands, including urging me to intervene in court affairs to acquit several individuals who are being prosecuted for criminal offences," Mr Muhyiddin said.
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MOTION OF CONFIDENCE SHOULD BE TABLED BEFORE AUG 9: OPPOSITION
In a separate statement on Wednesday, opposition MPs said a special parliament meeting must be held no later than Aug 9 to table and debate the motion of confidence on the prime minister.
"We cannot accept that the issue of support for the prime minister is postponed until September.
"It is highly unreasonable for a government, whose legitimacy and majority support have been questioned, to delay the process to determine its support at the parliament," the statement said.
The motion must be tabled, debated and decided right now to put an end to the issue of the prime minister's legitimacy, it added.
The MPs who signed off the statement were Mr Anwar, Mr Mohamad Sabu (Amanah), Mr Lim Guan Eng (DAP), Mr Mohd Shafie Apdal (Parti Warisan Sabah, Warisan), Mr Mukhriz Mahathir (Pejuang), Mr Wilfred Madius Tangau (UPKO), Mr Baru Bian (PSB), Mr Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (MUDA) and Mr Maszlee Malik (independent).
Ahmad Zahid also said on Wednesday that the prime minister should convene a special parliamentary session immediately to prove that he still enjoys a majority in the House.
In a statement, he said he has submitted eight SDs from UMNO lawmakers who are withdrawing their support for Mr Muhyiddin to the king on Jul 30.
There were now more SDs from UMNO MPs, following the party supreme council's decision to withdraw support for the Perikatan Nasional government and the prime minister.
"I have written a letter to the king today to present additional SDs, as an extension of the previous letter," he said.
Ahmad Zahid said the prime minister's statement that he still commands a majority is "not true", adding that PN only had 114 MPs prior to this. The Malaysian parliament has 222 seats but two MPs had passed away.
In a statement on his Facebook page, Mr Mohd Shafie, who is Warisan president, said he and seven other party lawmakers are unanimously urging the prime minister and his Cabinet to resign immediately.
"We would also like to stress that a parliament meeting to determine Tan Sri Mahiaddin Yasin's majority should be held as soon as possible, without having to wait until September," he said.
Parti Pejuang Tanahair information chief Ulya Aqamah Husamudin added on Wednesday that the party has never signed any statutory declaration supporting the prime minister. The party is led by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
"Prior to this, Pejuang has consistently stated that we do not agree with the current government and has repeatedly requested the prime minister and his Cabinet to resign," he said.