Mahathir wants House meet to test new PM’s majority claim
KUALA LUMPUR: Mahathir Mohamad called on Sunday for an urgent sitting of Malaysia’s parliament to contest the appointment of a former ally as PM under a Malay-majority coalition that could further split the nation following the collapse of...
Muhyiddin Yassin, who once famously quipped that he is Malay first and Malaysian second, was sworn in as the new PM at the palace on Sunday after getting the support of several opposition parties. Among the supporters was the corruption-tainted United Malays National Organization, which was ousted by Mahathir’s Alliance of Hope in a historic vote in 2018.
The king said on Saturday that he believed Muhyiddin had the majority support of MPs and named him the new PM. But Mahathir’s camp has contested that assertion, saying the 94-year-old two-time PM has the backing of 114 lawmakers to return as premier for a third time, surpassing the 112 votes needed for a simple majority. Mahathir said on Sunday that the palace had refused to hear him out. He called for an urgent sitting of the lower house of parliament to test Muhyiddin’s claim of majority support. The house is due to resume March 9, but Mahathir said it could be delayed.
“People on our side may be offered to be ministers. They may be offered other things... We feel we have 114, but after the actions taken by these rich and powerful people, we may not have the 114,” he said. “Hold the Parliament sitting now.” Already, two of the MPs among the 114 have denied supporting Mahathir.