PETALING JAYA: While some Pakatan Harapan ministers still deny there are statutory declarations calling for Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to serve a full term as Prime Minister, sources say that 138 Members of Parliament have signed such documents.
This would be more than the simple majority of 112 required, with signatories hailing from both sides.
“As of now, Dr Mahathir has received 138 signed statutory declarations (SDs) from MPs across the board.
“He will only need 10 more to get a two-thirds majority, ” said one source.
The alleged SDs insist that Dr Mahathir stay for a full term, which would be contrary to the Pakatan agreement prior to the 14th General Election (GE14) in May, 2018 that he would only be a transition premier and hand over power to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
More than one source claimed that of those who have signed such SDs, 18 were from PAS, 26 from Anwar’s own party PKR, at least 13 of the 39 Umno MPs, and all 26 MPs from Dr Mahathir’s own Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
“MPs were approached by certain people aligned to Dr Mahathir – he however was not involved in getting MPs to sign, ” said another source.
“The rumours of him not getting enough support needed to be stopped, to give those in business and in government the confidence that the government under Dr Mahathir is not going to collapse.
“Such rumours affect the stock market and the country’s image.
“Also, the issue of the handover to his successor Anwar keeps popping up, but Dr Mahathir needs a full term to carry out projects for the nation.
“We agreed to the transition before the last general election, not knowing how bad our economy was.
“We had a debt of RM1tril staring at us in the face when we took over and this put a dent on many of the ambitions listed in our election manifesto.
“A transition now would only make matters worse politically and economically, ” he added.
Five MPs from Pakatan who admitted that they signed the SDs were unwilling to share details, and wanted to remain anonymous to speak freely.
“If we share details of the SD, we would be identified immediately, ” said one such MP.
An aide to a minister who signed said that “such matters” were always done in a hushed manner.
“MPs who signed would not tell you that they signed, as this would ‘mark’ them if something should happen to Dr Mahathir and Anwar becomes the PM.
“After all, Dr Mahathir is already turning 95 this year, ” noted the aide.
Four PAS MPs, when asked if they had signed the SDs, merely replied with the smiley face emoji in their text messages.
A PAS leader noted his party has repeatedly declared that all its 18 MPs will support Dr Mahathir staying on for the full term, while an Umno leader said that the collecting of SDs among his party’s MPs was still a “work in progress”.
Two PKR MPs who have vocally stated that Dr Mahathir should not stay for a full term, William Leong (Selayang) and Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution (Kulim-Bandar Baru), denied the existence of such SDs.
“Talk of PKR MPs signing an SD in support of Dr Mahathir to continue serving as Prime Minister is merely hearsay, ” Saifuddin, who is also PKR secretary-general, said yesterday.
Leong said even if there were such an SD, he would not have been approached anyway.
In July last year, an SD alleging that Home Minister and Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi supported Anwar as the premier went viral, before the three personalities insisted that it was a fake.