Malaysian PM Muhyiddin to make announcement on political future on Monday: Reports
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin will make an announcement on his political future on Monday (Aug 16), according to a Cabinet minister.
Local news outlets quoted Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Special Functions) Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof as saying that the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) leaders met on Sunday to discuss the scenario should Mr Muhyiddin step down.
“God willing there will be an announcement (by Mr Muhyiddin) … whatever it is just wait for tomorrow,” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.
“The prime minister has explored every option solely in the interests of the people in this time of crisis. However, we will abide by the Constitution.
“It is left to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to ensure that the country continues to be led by a leadership that is sensitive to the people’s concerns,” Mr Mohd Redzuan added.
Mr Muhyiddin is Bersatu president leading the Perikatan Nasional government. He was sworn in as the country’s eighth prime minister on Mar 1 last year following a power tussle, which saw him pulling Bersatu out of then-ruling Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition and causing its collapse.
A political power play is currently unfolding in Malaysia amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A number of United Malays National Organisation lawmakers, led by party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, withdrew their support for Mr Muhyiddin in early August, compromising his already razor-thin parliamentary majority.
The prime minister initially insisted that he still commanded the parliamentary majority, and promised to prove his legitimacy through a motion of confidence scheduled to be tabled in the parliament on Sep 7.
On Friday, Mr Muhyiddin appeared in a televised address to seek bipartisan support to survive the confidence motion.
Among others, he promised to table a constitutional amendment Bill to limit the prime minister’s position to two terms and an anti-party hopping Bill.
However, Mr Muhyiddin’s proposal has been rejected by PH, which said that this was essentially an open admission that he had lost the support of the majority of the Lower House. The opposition bloc called for him to step down.
UMNO, too, said it would not consider offers from “a person who no longer has legitimacy”, adding that his offer could be characterised as an “open bribery”.
Following this, local media have quoted sources as saying that Mr Muhyiddin would tender his resignation next week.
Mr Mohd Redzuan, a Bersatu supreme council member, was quoted as saying that Mr Muhyiddin conveyed this to fellow party lawmakers on Sunday.
“We just finished the meeting. Tomorrow, there will be a special Cabinet meeting. After that, he will head to Istana Negara to submit his resignation,” he said, according to Malaysiakini.
He was also quoted by the Malaysian Insight as saying: “(Mr Muhyiddin) said he had to quit as he had lost the majority in parliament. We, as the supreme council, have to follow what is provided in the federal constitution.”