PKR says Baru Bian among 114 for Dr M

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian shown in a video clip declaring support for Dr Mahathir Mohamad this evening.

PETALING JAYA: Sarawak PKR leader Baru Bian has signed a declaration of support for Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a week after 10 other PKR members and him quit the party to support a new coalition.

Baru was among the PKR dissidents led by former deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali who had wanted Mahathir to continue in office until the next general election. (One MP listed as part of the group, Jonathan Yasin of Ranau, later said he had not left.)

The group had been considered to be among those listed as having supported PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin’s candidacy to be the new prime minister.

This evening, PKR communications chief Fahmi Fadzil posted a video clip showing Baru signing the declaration of support, witnessed by Mahathir and several MPs including Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman (Muar), Salahuddin Ayub (Pulai) and Liew Vui Keong (Batu Sapi) among others.

“So until now, we have 114 (MPs in support of Mahathir),” said Fahmi, who is Lembah Pantai MP.

Muhyiddin was named the new prime minister this evening, with Istana Negara saying he was considered the MP “who possibly commands the confidence of a majority of MPs in the Dewan Rakyat”.

Earlier today, 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, with Salahuddin saying PH had the support of 111 or 112 MPs and the coalition would attempt to submit documents to Istana Negara to back their claim.

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.