Go back to the ballots, PH told

Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah and Patriot president Mohamed Arshad Raji.

PETALING JAYA: Calls are growing for Pakatan Harapan to go back to the ballot box, one day after political meetings in the Klang Valley triggered speculations of a possible break-up of the ruling coalition.

Among those who said PH should seek a fresh mandate is Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah.

She said any reorganisation of the ruling coalition should be done by consensus.

“Any other changes must follow the democratic electoral process. Any attempt to do otherwise will go against the will of the people,” the former Bersih 2.0 chairman said.

Yesterday, DAP’s Nga Kor Ming, who is also a deputy speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, warned against “betraying” the people’s mandate.

“The only legitimate government is the government from the people, by the people & for the people. Any ‘backdoor government’ without mandate from the people is a betrayal to the country and the people. It is illegitimate, will not last long and will be punished by the people,” he said.

Meanwhile, Patriot, the group of veteran armed forces officers who frequently comments on politics, said it was disgusted by the turn of events yesterday.

Its president Mohamed Arshad Raji said it would oppose any move to bring Umno and PAS into the government, adding that the succession plan to appoint Anwar Ibrahim as prime minister should have been settled after the coalition’s meeting last Friday.

“Patriot views this unholy attempt to form a backdoor government as a betrayal of the people’s mandate,” Arshad said.

“If it is true that the PH government has collapsed, like any mature democracy, then the right thing is to dissolve Parliament so that coalition parties can seek a new mandate from the people,” he said.

The Klang Valley was abuzz yesterday with talk of Mahathir leading a political coup to expel DAP from the Pakatan Harapan coalition which came to power after the historic 2018 elections.

The move is also said to be aimed at thwarting Anwar’s prime ministerial ambition.

Dozens of party leaders and MPs from PPBM, PAS and Umno gathered at the Sheraton hotel in Petaling Jaya, where PKR deputy president Azmin Ali and supporters had been meeting earlier in the day, in anticipation of an announcement that they would form a new coalition.

Supporters of Anwar meanwhile gathered at his home in Bukit Segambut for a prayer session, where he confirmed that there had been an attempt to betray Pakatan Harapan.

Anwar is scheduled to have an audience with the Agong at the Istana Negara this afternoon.