Waiting until Sept not in line with federal constitution, says former PM
KUALA LUMPUR : Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin must accept the reality that he no longer commands the majority support in Dewan Rakyat and must call for a confidence vote immediately, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Dr Mahathir said in his weekly virtual press conference that Muhyiddin’s move to wait until September to hold the vote in Parliament is not in line with the federal constitution.
“This is because he (Muhyiddin) does not have the majority and is not eligible to become prime minister and lead the government.
“He must accept reality. If he legitimately lost the majority, he should immediately hold a parliamentary session to determine whether he has retained the majority or not.”
Dr Mahathir was responding to a question fielded by a reporter about whether he was concerned over the possibility of Muhyiddin “buying” support from MPs.
He said while the country cannot hold an election due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Parliament can still convene in a hybrid mode to carry out the vote.
Dr Mahathir added that Muhyiddin should gather the names of those who backed his leadership in the form of statutory declarations.
“When I resigned (as prime minister last year), all parliamentarians had to sign a statutory declaration before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. But this is not being done now.
“What’s being done is that Muhyiddin is only claiming to have the majority when he does not. Everyone knows this.”
The Langkawi MP said this was due to the recent withdrawal of eight Umno MPs from the Perikatan Nasional government, with an addition of four others following suit.
Dr Mahathir said that with the withdrawal of some 12 Umno MPs, it is “impossible” for Muhyiddin to still retain a majority.
“Even before this, he (Muhyiddin) had secured a majority with only two MPs (from the 112 minimum). But he had admitted that he has the majority, as he did before when he claimed to have support before (in 2020) so that the Agong would choose him as the prime minister.
“He even claimed (to the Agong) that I and another five (MPs) from Bersatu had supported him when we did not (last year). This means that he lied, and now it looks like he is lying again.”
Asked whether his party Pejuang would back any leader should Muhyiddin be replaced, Dr Mahathir said his party would be willing to accept any leader who can secure the majority in Parliament.