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Muhyiddin should call for snap polls, say analysts

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin should go for broke and call for the dissolution of Parliament if opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim truly has the numbers to form a new government, said analysts.

Muhyiddin should call for snap polls, say analysts

Analysts said Mr Muhyiddin does not have the majority with his party and should call for elections instead of negotiating with other parties.

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin should go for broke and call for the dissolution of Parliament if opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim truly has the numbers to form a new government, said analysts.

They said Mr Muhyiddin, who formed the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government in February, does not have the majority with his party, Bersatu, and should call for elections instead of negotiating with other parties.

Singapore Institute of International Affairs senior fellow Oh Ei Sun told The Malaysian Insight that Mr Muhyiddin is most likely to convince Malaysia's King to dissolve Parliament instead of negotiating with Mr Anwar.

“If Muhyiddin would like to go for broke, he may advise the Agong to dissolve Parliament but his party may not do well in the general election. That would also depend on how much Umno would strong-arm Bersatu.

“Unless he has had a previous deal with Anwar, where he steps down as prime minister and takes on the role of a senior minister. Otherwise, he is most likely to go for broke (calling for elections),” Mr Oh told The Malaysian Insight.

Mr Anwar said yesterday he has the numbers to form a government and has sought an audience with the king.

While not disclosing the number of MPs on his side, the PKR president nevertheless said he has a “strong, formidable and convincing” majority.

The former deputy prime minister also offered an olive branch to Mr Muhyiddin and said he will reward the Bersatu president handsomely if he cooperates to ensure a smooth transition in power.

Mr Oh said Mr Anwar’s announcement will also force the palace to decide whether to allow him to become prime minister if he has the numbers, or to dissolve Parliament.

“It will either be a repeat of what happened in February where the king will appoint Anwar who, in the king’s opinion, will likely command the majority.

“Or, the king will heed Muhyiddin’s advice to dissolve Parliament and call for a new general election,” he said.

Ilham Centre executive director Hisomuddin Bakar said it would be humiliating for Mr Muhyiddin to accept Mr Anwar’s offer and instead should call for snap polls.

“It will not be as rosy as Anwar put it. Muhyiddin’s dignity would be at stake. His best option will be to dissolve. If not, this game would continue.”

He said Mr Muhyiddin is in the best position to call for snap polls, as his government is popular among the people due to its commendable handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic cash injections.

“The government of the day has momentum. It is better for them to dissolve it. The mood of the people is with Muhyiddin and the Perikatan Nasional government.”

Political scientist Awang Azman Awang Pawi, however, said before Mr Muhyiddin calls for snap polls, he needs to first resolve seat negotiations with Umno and PAS.

“Even though Muhyiddin is popular, he is not strong in Parliament. Not everyone in Umno supports Muhyiddin. He is in a hard place now. The only thing he can do is bide his time and look at his options to survive,” said the Universiti Malaya professor.

“If Muhyiddin is confident on the seat negotiations, he will surely gun for snap elections to deny Anwar easy entry to Putrajaya.

“If he (Muhyiddin) can fight Anwar, he will, but he will suggest for dissolution if everything falls into place,” Mr Awang Azman said.

Mr Anwar said yesterday the PN government led by Mr Muhyiddin had fallen as he had a convincing majority to take over Putrajaya.

The Port Dickson MP said he had already spoken to the king through a telephone call after the monarch was admitted to the National Heart Institute.

Mr Anwar said he will only reveal the number of MPs who have switched to his side after informing the king.

Soon after Mr Anwar’s announcement, both DAP and Amanah issued statements pledging their support for him.

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi also said any party member is free to support Mr Anwar.

Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), however, pledged their support for Mr Muhyiddin.

DAP has 42 lawmakers, while Amanah has 11, PKR has 38, Umno has 41 and GPS has 18. THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT

Related topics

Muhyiddin Yassin Anwar Ibrahim Malaysia Malaysia politics

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