Dr M still needed to take over govt, Maszlee tells PH

Simpang Renggam MP Maszlee Malik (left) says Pakatan Harapan cannot afford to sideline Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

PETALING JAYA: A former PPBM leader said Pakatan Harapan will remain an opposition coalition indefinitely if it chooses to sideline Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the influence the former prime minister has.

Maszlee Malik said the past general elections had shown that opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim could only manage to secure up to 92 MPs, including those from DAP and PKR in Sabah and Sarawak.

And while this would make for a strong opposition bloc, it would not be enough to garner the much coveted 112 figure, he said, alluding to the number of MPs required for a simple majority.

“But if they (PH) want to return as the government, this is where Mahathir can play a role,” the Simpang Renggam MP said in a Facebook post.

Maszlee said he believed Mahathir could secure the support of 148 MPs if he played his cards right.

“Without Tun Dr Mahathir, the chances to wrest back the government (from Perikatan Nasional) are very slim and possibly impossible,” he said.

Maszlee’s post comes days after PH held a meeting attended by Mahathir and Anwar, who is the PKR president.

It is believed that the meeting discussed the coalition’s candidate for prime minister, following several conflicting claims for the top post since PH’s collapse in February.

The political turmoil this year saw PH booted out of Putrajaya after Mahathir’s resignation as prime minister as well as the exit of PPBM from the coalition.

PPBM president Muhyiddin Yassin subsequently formed the PN government alongside PAS and Barisan Nasional.

This was followed by PKR, DAP and Amanah naming Anwar as their prime ministerial candidate in their bid to return to power.

Mahathir and Maszlee, along with three other PPBM MPs recently had their memberships terminated for sitting with the opposition during the one-day sitting of the Dewan Rakyat on May 18.

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