PAS goes all-in with Muhyiddin, bids to rally allies against Pakatan

PAS and Umno flags are pictured outside the KL World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur September 13, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
PAS and Umno flags are pictured outside the KL World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur September 13, 2019. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 27 — PAS announced its unequivocal support for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today while simultaneously seeking to redirect its warring allies’ hostilities at the rival Pakatan Harapan coalition.

In a statement after Muafakat Nasional partner Umno appeared to come close to withdrawing support for Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional last night, the Islamist party also tried to remind its political allies of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s call for an end to their feuding.

“PAS also expresses its undivided loyalty to the leadership of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, at once stressing that all 18 of its federal lawmakers stood with the Perikatan Nasional government that was caring and working to ensure the wellbeing of the country and its people.

“At the same time, PAS urges all Barisan Nasional MPs to defend Muhyiddin’s leadership and the Perikatan Nasional government that was built together on the ruins of Pakatan Harapan,” PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said in a statement.

Yesterday, BN and its lynchpin, Umno, held separate meetings that their leaders confirmed involved discussions about Muhyiddin’s position as the PM after his Cabinet mounted an abortive attempt to proclaim an emergency in Malaysia.

The meetings also took place despite Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah telling politicians to stop threatening Muhyiddin’s administration and distract it from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

After a tense meeting last night, Umno announced that it was maintaining the status quo, which was in effect its previous demands for improved terms from PN in return for its continued support.

The Umno meeting also finally brought to light elements in the party that were agreeable to supporting Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s attempt to take over the federal government, which included former prime minister and ex-party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Muhyiddin and his Cabinet attempted to invoke emergency rule in Malaysia last week but were not able to convince Al-Sultan that this had been necessary.

Although the Agong simultaneously gave the Muhyiddin administration an endorsement, rivals have interpreted the attempt itself as an indicator of the PN coalition’s vulnerability in Parliament.

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