The maths behind Malaysia’s latest political drama

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 5 : Yesterday, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin insisted he still has the support of the majority of federal lawmakers, in the form of their statutory declaration, to continue leading the government.

The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president said after disclosing that Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah informed him that the latter was given SDs from eight Umno MPs who formally informed the Dewan Rakyat Speaker they were withdrawing support for him.

Muhyiddin has also pledged to table a confidence vote when Parliament convenes in September, to dispel the continued doubts over his legitimacy to remain as prime minister.

Malay Mail tallied up the events that unfolded this week, as more and more Oppositions claimed that the Pagoh MP had lost his majority, to determine if Muhyiddin’s insistence was plausible.

Anwar maintains that Muhyiddin has lost his majority, adding he has been informed that ministers have applied to switch their support at the protest in Dataran Merdeka on Monday. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Anwar maintains that Muhyiddin has lost his majority, adding he has been informed that ministers have applied to switch their support at the protest in Dataran Merdeka on Monday. — Picture by Hari Anggara

Currently, the Bersatu-led Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition has 51 MPs including lawmakers from PAS, STAR and PBS.

However, the coalition was only able to reach a simple majority due to receiving support in matters of confidence and supply from outside parties, namely Barisan Nasional (BN) that consisted of Umno, MCA, MIC and PBRS, as well as the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition.

BN has 42 seats, GPS has 18, and PBS has one. Three independent MPs who recently left PKR have also declared for PN.

All combined, PN theoretically controls 115 out of 220 seats in Parliament. While the Dewan Rakyat officially has 222 constituencies, two remain vacant due to the deaths of their incumbents.

On Monday, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that enough of the party’s federal lawmakers have signed a declaration to withdraw its support for Muhyiddin.

Although the numbers are not revealed, several MPs are seen to be behind him and sources from the party verified that there are 11 MPs in Zahid’s camp.

They are Zahid himself (Bagan Datuk), Datuk Seri Najib Razak (Pekan), Datuk Ahmad Nazlan Idris (Jerantut), Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub (Machang), Ramli Mohd Noor (Cameron Highlands), Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (Gua Musang), Datuk Mohd Nizar Zakaria (Parit), Datuk Seri Azalina Othman (Pengerang), Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (Baling) and Tan Sri Noh Omar (Tanjung Karang).

If these MPs are confirmed as withdrawing support for Muhyiddin, only 27 of the party’s MPs would still be aligned with PN.

On the other side, Pakatan Harapan and Opposition Lead Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim could count on 88 MPs from the coalition.

Including other Opposition parties such as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang), Parti Warisan Sabah, Parti Sarawak Baru as well as former ministers turned independents such as Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Muar) and Maszlee Malik (Simpang Renggam), PH’s numbers would be 105.

Adding the 11 Umno MPs, those opposed to PN could number up to 116.

However, a source close to Umno told Malay Mail that there is some “fluidity” in the number of Umno MPs that support either Zahid or Muhyiddin.

“Some MPs have signed both letters and SDs supporting both leaders,” said the source without elaborating the names.

It is also unclear if all the Opposition lawmakers would rally behind Anwar should he attempt to present his level of support to the Agong.

Anwar maintains that Muhyiddin has lost his majority, adding he has been informed that ministers have applied to switch their support at the protest in Dataran Merdeka on Monday when the police stopped Opposition MPs from going to the Parliament that was closed because of Covid-19.

Last year, Anwar claimed to have support from enough Umno MPs to take over the government, but has yet to prove this in Parliament.

By : RADZI RAZAK – MALAY MAIL

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