IPOH, June 9 — Former Perak Speaker Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham urged Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin not to call for a snap general election of Pakatan Harapan (PH) and its allies are successful in the vote of no-confidence against him.
The Beruas MP cited reports claiming that so-called “PH Plus” alliance have secured enough lawmakers to take over the federal government.
“Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has stated that when Muhyiddin was sworn in as prime minister on March 1, PH Plus still had 114 MPs out of 222 MPs of the Dewan Rakyat (Lower House of Parliament).
“After he was sworn in as the prime minister and lead the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government, five MPs from PH Plus shifted their allegiance to PN as shown in the Parliament sitting on May 18, where Muhyiddin has the support of 113 MPs and PH Plus has the support of 109 MPs.
“Since then, things have changed and news reports indicate that PH Plus may have more than 112 MPs on its side,” Ngeh said in a statement.
He said some reports claimed Muhyiddin would advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve the Parliament if it was shown he did not have majority support in Parliament.
Ngeh said avoiding a fresh general election would mean the country would not be obliged to spend nearly RM100 million in pensions for Perikatan Nasional ministers and deputy ministers who have only been in office for three months.
“In the event of a dissolution of Parliament, under item 2(2) of the First Schedule to the Members of Parliament (Remuneration) Act 1980, PN ministers and deputy ministers would have been deemed to have served for 36 months and shall be entitled to a pension of 25 percent of their last drawn salary for life and in the event of their demise to be succeeded by their wives for a lifetime.
“This would amount to almost RM100 million. The PH Plus ministers and deputy ministers who have served for 22 months get much lesser pension than them.
“If there is no dissolution, PN ministers and deputy ministers will get their pension based on their months of service and not 36 months,” he explained.
He also said a general election would cost the country up to RM1 billion.
“To conduct an election during this Covid-19 pandemic will cause the people much hardship due to the need to practise various preventative measures.
“There is also the possibility of an outbreak due to the close proximity of people to each other and the massive movements of people,” he said.
“During the election period, there is no government to help in the economic recovery and the people cannot concentrate on their economic recovery,” he added.