COMMENTARY, July 13 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin won yet another “victory” today when his motion to remove Tan Sri Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof as Dewan Rakyat Speaker was successful.
Political pundits see this as yet another endorsement and recognition of Muyiddin’s legitimacy as prime minister.
This comes on top of Barisan Nasional’s (BN) landslide victory in the Chini state by-election last weekend.
(BN together with Pas and Parti Pribumi Bersatu are members of the ruling alliance of Perikatan Nasional.)
However, the bloc voting to remove Mohamad Ariff was won by just two votes and the Opposition may make a fuss about it in the days ahead.
Most probably, they are wondering how they lost so narrowly.
It also looks like this session of Parliament is going to be very lively as the Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim loves debates.
The Opposition is keen on a vote of no confidence against Muhyiddin as they want the sitting prime minister to hand over the “mandate of the people” which they received at the last general election.
They are not in support of a snap election as they know the rakyat have lost their trust in Pakatan Harapan as proven by the previous by-elections where their candidates were actually abandoned by voters who voted them in previously.
Knowing the feelings on the ground, the Opposition comprising PKR, Amanah and DAP plus Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and five former Bersatu MPs would rather Muhyiddin “return”, as they diplomatically put it, the mandate to them.
Deep down, they know it was not Muhyiddin nor the parties in the ruling Perikatan Nasional that brought them down.
It was Mahathir who was the prime minister at the time who brought them down when he resigned.
The Opposition has been mulling over a vote of no confidence against Muhyiddin to get back the mandate but this morning was proof that Muhyiddin had the majority.
Never mind the two votes majority, call it slim or razor thin or whatever but Muhyddin and the ruling alliance won and the Opposition will have to accept it as the reality of the situation.
Muhyiddin is not expected to dissolve Parliament as his priority is to help the country recover from the Covid-19 pandemic which affected the economy badly.
With the conclusion of today’s episode, the Opposition has no other way to demand for the mandate but instead have to play their role effectively to win a new mandate in the next general election.