By Karen Bong
KUCHING, June 13: Speculation is mounting that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin could seek for a snap general election by the end of the year to secure a clear mandate and silence those looking for some ways to derail the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.
Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper yesterday (June 12) reported that Muhyiddin has made his election intentions clear at the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) supreme council meeting on June 4, and has followed up by briefing divisional chiefs in several meetings over subsequent days.
“PM has been meeting grassroots and has also instructed all party leaders to ramp up election preparation,” Bersatu supreme council member Wan Saiful Wan Jan was quoted as saying.
He also expressed support for a general election to be held as soon as possible, once the country is safe from the Covid-19 pandemic situation, as it will end the propaganda over legitimacy of Muhyiddin’s leadership and help create a more stable PN government.
The opposition including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had sought to move a no-confidence motion in Parliament against Muhyiddin in early May, claiming that the latter did not command the majority of members of Parliament (MPs) to remain as prime minister.
Even though the Speaker of Parliament accepted Dr Mahathir’s motion, the vote was postponed indefinitely after Muhyiddin later informed that the government had decided to shortened the Parliament sitting with one order of the day, the opening address by the King, due to the need to focus on the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.
Muhyiddin’s coalition has been called a ‘back-door government’ after a power grab two months ago that led to the collapse of the elected Pakatan Harapan (PH) government in May 2018, instead of getting a mandate through the ballot box.
It all began in late February when Dr Mahathir abruptly resigned as prime minister and the Bersatu that he founded exited his PH coalition.
It reported that Muhyiddin was sworn in as Prime Minister on March 1 after defecting from PH with about 40 other MPs in late February. But Dr Mahathir insisted he still commanded 115 MPs, more than the 112 needed for a simple majority in Parliament.
The general election was last held in May 2018, when Barisan Nasional (BN)’s six-decade rule was ended, and the next polls are due only in late 2023. —DayakDaily.