Umno, Opposition parties reject Muhyiddin’s bipartisan offer

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 14 Aug 2021

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. -Bernamapic

PETALING JAYA: All Opposition parties, as well as Umno, have rejected Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s bipartisan offer and demanded his resignation as Prime Minister.

Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said offers made by an “illegitimate” prime minister cannot be considered, as it is considered “open bribery”.

He also criticised Muhyiddin for openly admitting that he lost his parliamentary majority in a live telecast.

“With this admission, the Pagoh MP can no longer legitimately carry out his duties as prime minister under Article 43(4) of the Constitution,” he said in a statement Friday (Aug 13).

The Bagan Datuk MP also urged Malaysians to remain calm until the Yang di-Pertuan Agong appoints a new premier under Article 40(2) of the Federal Constitution.

The Pakatan Harapan presidential council also rejected Muhyiddin’s olive branch and called for his resignation as premier.

It said it had decided to reject Muhyiddin’s offer, which should have been extended much earlier, and that the focus should be on “saving” the rakyat.

“We are confident that we can come up with a better plan, especially to curb the Covid-19 pandemic, restore the economy and save the rakyat and their livelihood,” it said in a joint statement Friday night.

It added that the special address by Muhyiddin earlier Friday evening was an admission that he had lost majority support in Parliament, and according to Article 43(4) of the Constitution, he must resign.

"This is the first time in Malaysian history where a prime minister admitted he lost the majority support and yet openly tries to entice support from the Opposition,” it said.

The joint statement was signed by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Parti Amanah Negara president Mohamad Sabu.

However, there were mixed responses from Opposition politicians following Muhyiddin’s offer as well.

DAP’s Bangi MP Ong Kian Ming initially suggested that all political parties consider Muhyiddin’s proposals, noting that the reforms suggested would leave a lasting effect on Malaysian politics if passed.

"I think that all political parties should sit down and discuss if these terms are acceptable or not, no?” Ong posted on Twitter after the televised address by Muhyiddin.

His views sparked a hot debate on social media.

Hours later, Ong wrote in a new tweet that he thanked everyone for their views and comments and would stand by his party's decision.

His party mate, Damansara MP Tony Pua, had also urged his Opposition colleagues to consider Muhyiddin’s bipartisan offer before outright rejecting it, as Opposition leader Anwar did not command an adequate parliamentary majority to form the next government.

“My view is if we cannot secure a majority for our Opposition leader, we must give the offer by Muhyiddin full consideration.

“After all, there's everything to gain for the rakyat and nothing to lose," he said in a Facebook post Friday.

Pua noted that his remarks would make some unhappy, but he urged others who “ponder rationally” to consider his opinion.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) also issued a statement on Friday rejecting Muhyiddin’s offer.

Pejuang president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir said Muhyiddin's offer was akin to “bribery” to entice support for him to remain as prime minister and called for his resignation.

“It is a clear and desperate effort by Muhyiddin to remain in power by using an undignified method,” he said.

Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who co-founded the yet-to-be-registered Malaysians United Democratic Alliance (Muda), said Muhyiddin appeared to be making various offers suddenly.

In a joint statement on Friday, Muda, Parti Warisan Sabah, Parti Sarawak Bersatu and Upko also rejected Muhyiddin’s proposals.

The leaders, with 12 MPs, said that the Prime Minister's offer was hypocritical and insincere, as it was just an effort by Muhyiddin to stay on as Prime Minister after losing his majority.

Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, PSB president Baru Bian, Syed Saddiq and Upko president Datuk Seri Wilfred Tangau signed the joint statement issued Friday (Aug 13) night.

They said that it was not for Muhyiddin to decide when he steps down.

"We call on Muhyiddin to step down honourably and allow the democratic process to be upheld," they added.

They said Muhyiddin's offer of a confidence and supply agreement with the Opposition was coming too late in the day, as the Opposition offered a similar working arrangement last year but was ignored by the Prime Minister.

Earlier Friday, Muhyiddin, in a special televised address, had sought bipartisan support from the Opposition, saying that support is crucial to bring the nation out of the political crisis.

He said if the Opposition agrees to bipartisan support, a special Dewan Rakyat sitting will be convened soon to table a confidence motion.

Muhyiddin had also assured that he would make decisions that are honourable and constitutional in his attempt to solve the ongoing political crisis.

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