Wednesday, 26 Feb 2020 07:59 PM MYT
BY IDA LIM
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — DAP lawmakers said Pakatan Harapan (PH) decided against a non-partisan “Mahathir government” as this would not be beholden to any party or coalition, effectively giving Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad free rein to do as he wanted.
Yeo Bee Yin was among the first to post the message on her Facebook page but the party later clarified that it was a common statement its leaders were sharing.
The former minister said Dr Mahathir would not have to consult any party or coalition in filling his Cabinet, for instance, and could appoint PAS and Umno leaders as his ministers if he desired.
Yeo was explaining why PH decided to back PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be the country’s next prime minister despite previously saying it backed Dr Mahathir.
Yeo noted the events that led to PH’s decision, including Dr Mahathir’s Sunday refusal to follow his own party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and PKR’s then deputy president Datuk Seri Azmin Ali to form a new government with Umno and PAS.
Noting that Dr Mahathir resigned as prime minister on Monday as an act of protest, Yeo said that DAP initially thanked him for “standing firm on the principle of refusing to work with the corrupt from Umno” and also expressed support for him to continue as the prime minister for the PH government.
On Monday, however, PH no longer had the required majority to remain the government with PPBM’s departure that was compounded by Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and 10 other lawmakers’ exit from PKR.
“However, after Mahathir received support from all the parties to continue as PM, Mahathir wanted to form a ‘unity government of individuals’.
“This means that only Mahathir will decide who will be cabinet ministers. DAP and other political parties will not be consulted in the process,” the DAP assistant national publicity secretary said in a post on her official Facebook account.
“In addition, the proposed Cabinet from Mahathir will likely include the same personalities who triggered the current crisis, as well as MPs from Umno and PAS.
“Effectively, it is a Mahathir government and not a PH government. The promises of the PH manifesto will not be fulfilled,” she added.
Yeo said PH had invited Dr Mahathir to attend its presidential council meeting last night to discuss the coalition’s concerns over the unity government proposal, but said Dr Mahathir had declined to join the meeting.
“Therefore, the PH leadership decided at the meeting to defend the people’s mandate to the PH government and to fulfil our PH manifesto by nominating Anwar Ibrahim as PH PM.
“We call upon all Malaysians to support the nomination of Anwar Ibrahim as the 8th PM of Malaysia, to respect the mandate given in the 14th GE and to ensure continued stability for the nation,” she said.
Earlier today in his first public statement since the Monday collapse of the PH government, Dr Mahathir said he had resigned as prime minister in the face of accusations that he was power-crazy, claiming that he did not see power and position as being his objective.
Dr Mahathir also claimed that he was forced to resign as prime minister to avoid working with Umno in a new government, pointing out that this would be the case if PPBM, which had left PH, joined forces with former election losers PAS and Umno to form a new government.
Dr Mahathir said that such a new coalition would have seen Umno dominating due to it having the highest number of MPs there with 42 MPs, adding that he was only willing to accept former Umno members instead of the whole party Umno in a new government.
Dr Mahathir also said he hoped to have a non-partisan government that would only prioritised national interests, which affirmed previous speculation and reports of his intention to push for a unity government.
At this point in time, no coalition has emerged with the required simple majority or the support of at least 112 MPs out of the 222-MP Dewan Rakyat to form a new government, with Dr Mahathir playing the role of interim prime minister for now.
All Pakatan MPs back Anwar as PM, sources say (updated)
PUTRAJAYA: There has been a surprising turn of events, with all Pakatan Harapan MPs declaring their support for PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister.
It is understood that PKR lawmakers who had an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had presented Anwar’s name as their choice for Prime Minister.
According to sources, Amanah MPs had also done the same.
DAP are expected to follow suit when they have an audience with the King later Wednesday (Feb 26).
Harapan backing Anwar as PM, but is there a deal?
Malaysiakini TeamPublished: 2:20 pm
There are indications that all Pakatan Harapan MPs are declaring their support for PKR president Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister in their interviews with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
It is unclear if Harapan had backtracked on its initial decision to support Mahathir, or whether it brokered a deal with the interim prime minister.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, a PKR senior leader told Malaysiakini that the party had fully backed Anwar.
Whereas Amanah strategic communications director Khalid Samad indicated his party is making similar declarations to the King.
“Tun (Mohamad) has resigned, and was made the interim PM. Give Anwar the chance to prove he has support to become the 8th prime minister,” Khalid said in a tweet.
“This is a position not a hereditary position or something that can just be handed over, it must have majority support. We hope Bersatu fulfils their promise, Mahathir as 7th PM, and Anwar as 8th PM,” he tweeted.
Khalid yesterday said Harapan had reached a consensus, so this may be how DAP swings as well.
Meanwhile, a DAP source told Malaysiakini that the party is “supporting the formation of a Harapan government.”
PKR, Amanah and DAP together have 92 seats in the Dewan Rakyat, which is not enough to form a simple majority of 112.
However, a source told Malaysiakini that Anwar is not too far off from the target.
Their former allies Bersatu, who have 25 MPs not including Mahathir and the 11 ex-PKR MPs aligned to Azmin Ali, have said they will be backing the interim prime minister.
GPS and their 18 MPs also backed Mahathir., It is not clear who Warisan will back, but its president Shafie Apdal had previously said early in the crisis that his MPs back Mahathir.
A Bersatu source indicated that there was deal being floated that Mahathir would stay on as prime minister until November, with Anwar as deputy prime minister.
In exchange when Anwar becomes prime minister, Mahathir’s son Mukhriz would take over the number two post.
However, it is unclear if this deal had been struck.
A Harapan source indicated that the coalition is open to Mahathir serving as prime minister until November but was not in the know if Anwar and Mahathir had reached any agreement since Sunday’s attempted coup.