Dr M: The Opposition will reject bills tabled by PM Muhyiddin unless no-confidence vote is allowed

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 20 May 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The Opposition will reject bills tabled by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s administration unless there is a vote of no confidence in Parliament first, says his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic).

“If everything he brings to parliament is rejected, how does he continue?” Dr Mahathir told the Reuters international news agency.

Dr Mahathir reckoned Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional alliance only holds a two-seat majority in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat and said he would keep working with Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, despite past differences, to topple the government that replaced them.

“That is the narrowest majority any government in Malaysia ever had.

“(Muhyiddin) is going to be in very great trouble. Because whatever chance we have to prove that it is not legitimate for him to be the prime minister, we will do that.”

Dr Mahathir said he would seek to oust Muhyiddin at every turn.

The prospect of more political and policy uncertainty in Malaysia comes at a time when the multi-ethnic Southeast Asian nation is grappling with the health crisis and economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic.

On Wednesday (May 20), the 94-year-old former premier, who resigned in February, questioned the legitimacy of Muhyiddin’s two-and-a-half-month-old coalition.

“It’s wrong for this backdoor arrangement to be done. We want to give the people the rightful government that they chose. That is our aim,” he said.

Having been part of Dr Mahathir’s Pakatan Harapan government, Muhyiddin unexpectedly emerged as prime minister in March after forging an alliance with Umno, PAS and former PKR members to gain a parliamentary majority.

The Opposition have accused him of stealing power by shifting alliances instead of earning it at the ballot box.

Earlier this week, the government avoided a confidence vote tabled by Dr Mahathir, insisting that Parliament gave priority to the fight against Covid-19 and its economic fallout.

Having led Malaysia for 22 years until 2003, Dr Mahathir came out of retirement to join hands with former foes to oust then prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who now faces corruption charges mostly related to the alleged looting of billions of ringgit from sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd.

The multi-ethnic alliance led by Dr Mahathir and Anwar scored a stunning victory in the 2018 election, toppling Najib and dumping Barisan Nasional out of power for the first time since Malaysia’s independence from British colonial rule.

Najib, who co-founded 1MDB, has denied all wrongdoing.

Last week, prosecutors dropped money-laundering charges tied to 1MDB against Riza Shahriz Abdul Aziz, Najib’s stepson, after agreeing to a deal that officials said included the recovery of overseas assets worth an estimated US$107.3mil (RM465.3mil).

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