KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 6 — Veteran Umno lawmaker Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz has urged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob not to accede to Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) demands for the deputy prime minister’s post.
The Padang Rengas MP told news portal The Vibes that his party colleague should not give in to pressure and threats by the Bersatu-led PN coalition to withdraw its support, which could force a government collapse.
“No, no, don’t bow down to them. The prime minister has already got so many other considerations to make,” Nazri was quoted as saying.
Citing anonymous party insiders, The Star yesterday reported that Bersatu is upset that Ismail Sabri has not kept his end of their purported August 2021 deal to appoint a deputy prime minister from among their ranks after its president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin relinquished his position as prime minister to the Bera MP.
However, the other PN component parties like PAS and Gerakan, are reportedly undecided on whether or not to withdraw their support for Ismail Sabri.
Nazri said that if PN withdraws its support, Parliament may be dissolved to pave the way for a general election.
He added that the ultimate decision lies with Yang di-Pertuan Agong who has discretionary powers on dissolving Parliament.
But he also said that if PN pulled its support, its lawmakers might incur the wrath of the palace as the Agong had previously decreed that set aside their partisan differences and work together for the public good and Malaysia’s stability.
Nazri also pointed out that even if the Agong agrees to dissolve Parliament to make way for elections, the PN decision could backfire on them, firing up Malaysians to vote against them.
PN and the Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition have formed an uneasy alliance to govern the country since ousting the elected Pakatan Harapan coalition in February 2020.
The same news portal also cited another Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin saying that PN’s discontent indicated the likelihood that the 15th general election will be held soon.
“What happened clearly shows the existence of pressure, pestering, and threats among certain parties within the government,” he was quoted saying.
Malaysia must hold its general election by September 2023.