KOTA KINABALU: Questions are being raised over the apparent absence of PKR and DAP support for Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s bid to oust Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin through a motion of no-confidence.
Two political observers said they were perplexed by PKR’s and DAP’s silence on Mahathir’s proposal as well as on a failed bid by Warisan president Shafie Apdal to submit a motion of confidence in the former prime minister, who is PPBM’s chairman and whose faction of the party still works with the Pakatan Harapan coalition.
Arnold Puyok of Universiti Malaysia Sarawak noted that many people were wondering why it was Shafie, whose party is not in PH but is friendly to the coalition, who proposed tabling the motion in favour of Mahathir when it should have been someone from PKR or DAP.
“I’m baffled as well,” Puyok told FMT. “But I think DAP wants to avoid being seen as a non-Malay party going against the Malays.”
Muhyiddin heads a coalition made up of Umno, PAS, GPS and his faction of PBBM.
As for PKR, Puyok said he could understand that it was taking a cautious approach in matters concerning Mahathir.
Alluding to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s ambition to become prime minister, he speculated that the party was keeping its options open.
He wondered if Shafie and Mahathir were playing out parts of a coordinated plan and that PKR and DAP were plotting something big.
Tony Paridi Bagang said he was tempted to interpret PKR’s and DAP’s silence on the motion against Muhyiddin as their lack of confidence in Mahathir’s move.
“But this can only be known on May 18,” the UiTM Sabah academic said, referring to the date of the coming meeting of the Dewan Rakyat.
He said one could also see the situation as showing a triangular rivalry between Muhyiddin, Mahathir and Anwar.
Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof last week accepted Mahathir’s proposal for a no-confidence motion against Muhyiddin.
However, he rejected Shafie’s letter seeking a motion of confidence in Mahathir, saying it defied the constitutional provision concerning the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s authority in appointing the prime minister.
Bagang said Shafie’s party might now become the punching bag in the rivalry between Mahathir and Muhyiddin.”
He noted that the Warisan president’s letter had already returned to haunt him although he said in the proposal that he was not questioning the Agong’s authority.
Among those who have hit out at Shafie is former federal minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan of Umno. He challenged him to quit his post as Sabah chief minister.
Bagang said he believed Shafie’s proposal was part of an attempt to attack Muhyiddin from several directions.
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