Will Muhyiddin Seek New Friends Or Make More Enemies
The emergency until August will give Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin the breathing space to consolidate his Perikatan Nasional government by getting support from other parties in the country.
(FMT) – Sociopolitical analyst Awang Azman Pawi said Muhyiddin might seek the support of Pakatan Harapan component parties like Amanah and their allies Warisan to ensure his government is intact after the state of emergency ends.
He said the emergency could possibly stretch to August, adding that this would provide plenty of time for the sitting prime minister to reinforce his support.
He added that PN had lost its majority when Padang Rengas MP Nazri Aziz retracted his support for the ruling coalition.
“The issue of a government without a clear majority does not arise with the emergency being proclaimed and Parliament suspended, rendering the opposition with no avenue to prove that Muhyiddin had lost his majority in the Dewan Rakyat.”
“Potentially, among the parties that might be in Muhyiddin’s crosshairs are Amanah (which has 11 seats) and Warisan (which has eight MPs, including for Labuan),” Awang told FMT.
The rationale behind this, he said, was that Amanah was a Malay-Muslim party that shared its principles with PAS, Umno as well as PPBM.
At the same time, he said, Warisan was not part of either PH and PN but needed to remain strong ahead of the next general election.
“The grassroots in Amanah will likely object to this (joining PN) as it will be betraying their struggles as well as PH’s.
“As for, Warisan, a pact with PN will ensure the chief minister’s seat is returned to the party but the non-Muslim Bumiputeras (leaders and supporters) in the party will reject such a cooperation,” he said.
Umno has been pressuring the PN government to call for a snap general election since the new year, with Padang Rengas MP Nazri Aziz the latest Umno lawmaker to withdraw his support for Muhyiddin yesterday.
Nazri’s pullout followed the withdrawal of Machang MP Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub. Their decision means that the PN government only has 110 MPs in its bloc in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat.
Bridget Welsh of the University of Nottingham (Malaysia), however, did not share Awang Azman’s opinions, saying Muhyiddin would instead try to strengthen his own party by relying on emergency provisions for power.
“Fewer people will want to work with him if he is not able to get the Covid-19 crisis under control and the economy going. Six months is a long time.
Universiti Malaysia Sarawak deputy dean Arnold Puyok echoed her sentiments, saying the emergency gives Muhyiddin a wide range of powers which he can use to consolidate his political support.
“I think he has many options and will be open to the possibility of forming a unity government, among others.
“But how (he uses such powers to consolidate support), we are not sure yet. We will have to see what ordinances he will announce and see whether they have any ‘political effects’,” he said.
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