KUALA LUMPUR: The increasing number of opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) declaring their support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim puts to rest rumours that the Unity Government formed after the 15th General Election in November last year would soon end, say analysts.
With the recent backing from four Bersatu MPs, the government bloc now holds 151 out of 222 parliamentary seats, giving them a two-thirds majority.
Political analyst Prof Datuk Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said this turn of events likely stems from the belief among supporters that backing is necessary to allow the federal government's planned agenda and policies to proceed.
He also said that it provides a form of moral and political legitimacy to Anwar to ensure that a good action plan follows his actions, supported not only by the government but also by several leaders from the opposition.
"At the same time, these MPs can continue to enhance services to their constituents," said the Universiti Sains Malaysia lecturer to Bernama.
The four MPs who recently declared their support for Anwar are Mohd Aziz Abu Naim (Gua Musang), Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid (Kuala Kangsar), Datuk Dr Suhaili Abdul Rahman (Labuan) and Zahari Kechik (Jeli).
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reportedly said that more opposition MPs were expected to follow suit.
Meanwhile, a sociopolitical analyst from Universiti Malaya Centre for Democracy and Elections, Prof Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi, also agreed the latest development proved that the government is stable.
"I think this statement of support is also something sincere from a representative who cares about his constituency and is not self-centred," he said.
Awang Azman also believed that the alleged "rewards" given to these MPs were allocations for their areas, which could be used for the well-being of the people they represented.
"...not for the MPs themselves because they are already paid salaries, allowances and others.
"However, it is important to note that even if the allocation is not given directly to MPs, there are government agencies that can provide mechanisms for assisting the people," he said.
Another political analyst, Dr Nur Aida Kipli, believed that the support was willingly given by those involved to protect the interests of their constituents and contribute to the country's development.
The senior lecturer at the Faculty of Administrative Science and Policy Studies, Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Sarawak, opined the decision must have been taken after careful consideration, given its potential impact on their position within the party.
"This support is based on government initiatives that always prioritise the welfare of the Malaysian citizens as a whole," she said.- Bernama