Political temperature set to rise in the coming weeks, say political analysts

PETALING JAYA: The next six weeks before Parliament is supposed to sit will be interesting as political horse trading is expected to take place, say political analysts.

They believe that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s announcement that a motion of confidence will be tabled in Parliament was to buy him some time for the political tide to hopefully turn to his favour.

“I think it’s basically a delaying tactic to buy himself some time,” said Dr Oh Ei Sun, adjunct senior fellow at Singapore’s S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies.

He also asked if Parliament would meet in September as the government could use the excuse of Covid-19 to delay the sitting.

“I will only believe there is a vote when I see it being introduced and voted upon,” he said.

The first meeting of the fourth session of the 14th Parliament will sit for 15 days beginning Sept 6 until 30.

There was a recent uproar after a special five-day sitting on July 26 was temporarily postponed for two weeks starting July 29 after supposed concerns over Covid-19.

He said that the political temperature was going to be very hot in the coming weeks, as Muhyiddin would try his best to reclaim support from Umno.

On Wednesday (Aug 4), Muhyiddin said that he will not resign and will table a motion of confidence in the Dewan Rakyat in September.

Muhyiddin said that his proposal had received the approval from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

On Tuesday (Aug 3), Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced that following its special Supreme Council meeting, Umno decided that it will stand with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and they will not side with the Perikatan government.

Merdeka Centre programme director Ibrahim Suffian said that regardless of the political dynamics, there were very specific instances when the Prime Minister could be changed - either if he resigned or through a parliamentary process.

“What he is doing is in accordance to the law as the numbers can only be tested in parliament. No one is going to say they have lost support,” he said.

He said that it will remain to be seen if those who have supposedly withdrawn their support for him return to back him or more people from the ruling bloc leave.

He said that during this period, Muhyiddin would be able to win additional support in the form of direct support of confidence agreements.

“The next six weeks will be interesting because there will be a lot of horse trading going on,” he said.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah last Thursday said the government’s decision to revoke six Emergency Ordinances was made without his consent.

In a statement issued by Istana Negara, the King also felt “greatly disappointed” that the revocation of the ordinances was not tabled in Parliament by the government.

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