Muhyiddin reaches across the aisle to Opposition to work together for the rakyat

A screengrab of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during his special address broadcast live, August 13, 2021. — Picture from Facebook/Muhyiddin Yassin
A screengrab of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during his special address broadcast live, August 13, 2021. — Picture from Facebook/Muhyiddin Yassin

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today expressed willingness to work with parties outside of Perikatan Nasional (PN) following a scheduled vote of confidence in Parliament.

In a special address today, Muhyiddin said after the confidence vote is done, there will be a more stable and inclusive government that recognises bipartisan input in managing the pandemic.

“I have spoken to my friends in the Cabinet, ministers and leaders in PN, to make a decision that is for the interest of the people and not for my personal interest. 

“We have arrived at a consensus to negotiate with party leaders outside of PN to pass the motion of confidence to the prime minister in Parliament.

“This will allow the government of the day to continue to function in managing the pandemic until a time that is suitable for a general election to be held to restore the mandate to the people,” he said.

He added that the motion of confidence can only be passed with bipartisan support in the House and after it is passed, the government that will exist afterwards would be a more stable and inclusive government.

“(The government will be) stable with bipartisan support in the House and the Senate, as well as inclusive with recognition to Opposition parties to play a role of checks and balances more effectively and thoroughly,” he said, adding that political stability is crucial in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic and rehabilitating the country.

In his address, Muhyiddin also expressed disappointment over several MPs pulling their support for PN as this had led to doubts over his legitimacy as prime minister and the position of the PN coalition as the ruling government.

“In this situation, I have two options according to the Federal Constitution — I can seek the consent of His Majesty, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, to dissolve Parliament and hold elections or I resign.

“My easiest option would be to resign. If I take this decision, then I will be done and will leave it to the wisdom of His Majesty, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, to elect a new prime minister,” he said.

Citing Article 43 (2) of the Federal Constitution, Muhyiddin said the King may then appoint a prime minister from among the MPs, who in his opinion commands the majority support of the House.

To this, he said, he will abide by the Constitution and take that path to resolve the ongoing political crisis.

“However, so far, no other MP is able to prove that he has the support of a majority of the House to enable His Majesty, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, to appoint a new prime minister.

“If I resign now, I am not the only one who ceases in their role as prime minister. According to the Federal Constitution, I have to resign all members of the Cabinet.

“This means the PN government that governs the country at the moment will fall,” he said.

In this situation, Muhyiddin said a new prime minister cannot be appointed in accordance with the Constitution, and when the prime minister cannot be appointed, then even the Cabinet cannot be appointed and the new government cannot be formed.

Since several Umno MPs have resigned from the Cabinet and withdrawn their support for PN, there have been several calls including from the Opposition coalition for Muhyiddin to step down as prime minister.

Earlier today, Federal Territories Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa had urged Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun to clarify claims of the prime minister’s apparent loss of majority support in Parliament.

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