Muhyiddin weighing options as premiership on the brink

But, it’s game over if Agong tells him to step down

KUALA LUMPUR : As Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s days as prime minister seem to be numbered, the Bersatu president is weighing his options.

One is potentially relinquishing his post as prime minister of the Perikatan Nasional government. This will help salvage a little of his legacy.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah today raised Muhyiddin’s lack of majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

It is understood that this conversation is documented in a letter from the king to Muhyiddin.

If that letter informs the embattled prime minister that in His Majesty’s view, it is only right that he should offer his resignation, then Muhyiddin will need to comply with the Agong’s wishes.

This is consistent with Article 43(4) of the federal constitution, which 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.

A source privy to the matter added that Istana Negara is of the impression that with Muhyiddin’s loss of a majority, the Agong is no longer bound to accept his advice.

At today’s (Aug 11) cabinet meeting, following his weekly audience with His Majesty, Muhyiddin is said to have announced his intention to resign amid pressure from various quarters and following his falling out with the palace.

The same message was apparently delivered to PN leaders as they met at the prime minister’s office this evening.

However, insiders said cabinet members persuaded him to stay on and that he should test his legitimacy in Parliament, as was previously decided.

Istana Negara is of the impression that with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s loss of a majority, the Agong is no longer bound to accept his advice, says a source. – Bernama pic

Muhyiddin last week said he will allow a vote of confidence to determine his majority when the lower house reconvenes next month.

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

Muhyiddin’s cabinet has also purportedly advised him to consider dissolving Parliament and call an election if all else fails.

It is understood that the Pagoh MP has sought the views of Election Commission leaders on the possibility of holding snap polls as Covid-19 continues to ravage the country.

A general election may also be considered should Muhyiddin fail to garner enough support when his legitimacy is put to a vote in the Dewan Rakyat.

This, however, may not happen as the Agong could refuse to dissolve Parliament, as doing so means an election has to be held within 60 days.

The vehicle carrying Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin arrives at his home following a meeting of Perikatan top guns in Putrajaya this evening. – SAIRIEN NAFIS/The Vibes pic, August 11, 2021
The vehicle carrying Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin arrives at his home following a meeting of Perikatan top guns in Putrajaya this evening. – SAIRIEN NAFIS/The Vibes pic, August 11, 2021

“With people dying by the hundreds every day, the king will not grant a dissolution,” said a palace source.

People from within the political sphere said the situation is still very fluid, and that any outcome is possible at the moment, especially with Muhyiddin’s untenable position.

This is after over a dozen Umno MPs withdrew their support for the prime minister last week, effectively causing him to lose the confidence of Parliament.

Earlier today, The Vibes reported that Muhyiddin’s audience with the king this morning saw His Majesty expressing his view on support for the former among MPs.

The Agong is said to be under pressure to remove Muhyiddin now, but faces the challenge of identifying a new prime minister, with no one MP having adequate support to form the next government.

A compromise leader could be Gua Musang MP Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who is acceptable to royal circles.

THE VIBES

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