Dr Mahathir Mohamad has conceded that he does not have the numbers now to command the majority support of Parliament as his supporters have been “paid off” by Muhyiddin Yassin.
The former prime minister said Muhyiddin did not command the majority support of the members of Parliament when he appeared before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in February.
However, he was sworn in as the new prime minister despite Pakatan Harapan (PH) saying it had the numbers to back Dr Mahathir for the position.
Earlier today, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof said he had allowed Dr Mahathir’s notice to table a motion of no-confidence against Muhyiddin in the coming Parliament sitting on May 18.
The motion can now be put to MPs for a vote, putting Muhyiddin’s two-month-old Perikatan Nasional (PN) government under pressure.
In a short video message after the speaker’s announcement, Dr Mahathir admitted his motion may be defeated as the numbers are with Muhyiddin now.
“PH has its stand but we (Bersatu faction) are of the view that when Muhyiddin was sworn in, he thought he had the majority,” he said in the video message.
“But the people who rejected him (then) were more than half, or 114 MPs.
“Now the situation, however, has changed because Muhyiddin has given (government) positions to my supporters.
“So, the number of those who support me has been reduced. Maybe we will lose because what he has done may also be considered sogokan (a bribe) because they were given ministers and deputy ministers’ posts so that they would side with Muhyiddin.
“But actually, on the day of the swearing in, he did not get their support.”
Dr Mahathir admitted that he is fine if Parliament has no time to debate his motion of no-confidence against Muhyiddin, saying he only wants Malaysians to know there was such a motion.
“If the speaker feels there is not enough time, or it is not a priority, then it is alright if the motion is not debated,” said the former PH chairman.
“However, I feel it is important that a public statement be made so that the people will be aware that there is such an opinion. If it’s not debated, we still want it to at least be mentioned.”
Dr Mahathir’s motion, filed under Standing Order 27 (3), will allow the House to table a resolution to decide if Muhyiddin commands the support of a majority of members of Parliament.
Although this is the first time a motion of no-confidence will be appearing on the Order Paper, it remains to be seen if it will be debated as the business of the government will be given priority over a motion tabled by a private member. – TMI