PH disputes Muhyiddin’s support, leaders meet tonight

Pakatan Harapan leaders last night after they endorsed Dr Mahathir Mohamad as the coalition candidate to be prime minister.

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan leaders have disputed the level of support for PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin, who was named today as Malaysia’s eighth prime minister, as party chiefs prepare for an emergency meeting tonight.

The meeting, being held at the Yayasan Al-Bukhary, comes in the wake of Istana Negara’s announcement that Muhyiddin would take his oath of office at 10am tomorrow.

The announcement said Muhyiddin had been chosen as being “the MP who likely commands the confidence of the majority of the MPs in the Dewan Rakyat”.

PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said the new coalition has a simple majority in the Dewan Rakyat with the support of 114 out of 222 MPs.

PH officials have disputed the figure. Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub said PH had the support of 111 or 112 MPs and the coalition would attempt to submit documents to Istana Negara to back their claim.

Salahuddin said tonight’s meeting would discuss the figures. The meeting is expected to last until 11pm.

This evening, PPBM deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir questioned the Muhyiddin-led coalition’s claim that they had the support of 36 PPBM members.

Muhkriz said interim Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is MP for Langkawi, had the support of at least five others from PPBM: himself as MP for Jerlun; Amiruddin Hamzah (Kubang Pasu), Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman (Muar), Maszlee Malik (Simpang Renggam) and Eddin Syazlee Shith (Kuala Pilah)

This morning, PH leaders had rallied around Mahathir, who has been prime minister since 2018, after the coalition took power in Putrajaya by defeating Barisan Nasional at the general election.

Mahathir resigned on Monday after internal dissension in PH, which led to a week of political turmoil during which the Yang di-Pertuan Agong interviewed all 222 MPs to determine who had the necessary support to head a new government.

Muhyiddin is expected to head a new coalition government, comprising PPBM, Umno, PAS and other MPs. The coalition is expected to be called Perikatan Nasional.

Following PPBM’s pullout last Saturday, Pakatan Harapan now comprises PKR, DAP and Amanah.

Mahathir had been chairman of Pakatan Harapan as well as PPBM, the party he founded in 2016 after leaving Umno. He resigned as PPBM chairman last week, but the party refused to accept his resignation.

This morning, his position as PPBM chairman was called into question by Muhyiddin, who said that the party had accepted Mahathir’s resignation to which PPBM secretary-general Marzuki Yahya responded by saying that Mahathir remained PPBM’s supreme authority as chairman.