Malaysia’s Political Crisis: Day Seven

1448
- Advertisement - [resads_adspot id="2"]

King appoints Muhyiddin as 8th prime minister.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

Masir Kujat says he backs Muhyiddin as PM

12am: Sri Aman MP Masir Kujat denies supporting Mahathir.

“I support Muhyiddin as prime minister,” he says in a video.

This brings the number of MPs backing Mahathir down to 113.

PH updates list after missing out Hulu Selangor MP

11.50pm: Pakatan Harapan has updated their list to include PKR’s Hulu Selangor MP June Leow who was left out of the original list.

This means that even with Bukit Gantang MP Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal no longer on the list, there are still 114 MPs supporting Mahathir.

Bukit Gantang MP denies supporting Dr M

11.40pm: Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal denies backing Mahathir.

“I deny it,” he says, adding that he had never signed a statutory declaration supporting Mahathir.

Instead he says, he has signed an SD supporting Muhyiddin.

He furnished a photo of him presenting the SD to Muhyiddin with Ahmad Zahid Hamidi present.

FMT

Dr M publishes list of 114 MPs, hopes Agong will accept

10.50pm: Dr Mahathir has published the list of 114 MPs backing him.

He says with these six, the number of Bersatu MPs presented to the King supporting Muhyiddin Yassin is not accurate.

“I hope the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong will accept my letter (with the 114 names) and explanation,” Mahathir says.

PH leaders end meet, to reconvene with “114 MPs” at 9am

10:30pm: Dr Mahathir and PH top leaders depart following a 90-minute meeting.

Mahathir rolls down his window and waves to the press but he does not say anything.

From his vehicle, Anwar shouts “114”, indicating the number of MPs PH is now claiming to be behind them.

Salahuddin Ayub says all these 114 MPs will meet at Yayasan Albukhary at 9am tomorrow.

“We will meet in a peaceful way. We do not want any trouble. We just want to say that the numbers before this had misled (the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong), it is incorrect,” Salahuddin tells the media.

Asked if PH plans to allow Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin to be sworn in as the eighth prime minister, he says “we will not stop that”.

“If you want to arrest one of us, then arrest us all,” says rally organiser

10.30pm: The demonstration against the Perikatan Nasional government ends peacefully.

Earlier, Ainina Sofia, one of the organisers, tells participants to watch each other’s back, saying police were searching for the organisers.

“If you want to arrest one of us, it is better for the police to nab all of us,” says Ainina Sofia, adding the protest is not organised by any political party or organisation.

Former Bersih chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan, who turned up to show support, says she will continue to be the voice of the people, saying: “I am back.”

“Absolutely (I will be back) if the situation demands it. But I am not the only one,” she says.

She, however, says she will not lead Bersih but she will support the movement.

Earlier, she told reporters that an urgent sitting of Parliament should be called.

“A no-confidence motion should be discussed and debated, and then put to a vote, ultimately, that is the way it should end up – in a democratic way.

Fion Yap/Malaysiakini

“That’s why I say I haven’t given up on democracy. We have a Parliament that works, and we need to go back to that,” she says.

Protesters call for Malaysia to rise against coup

9.30pm: A group of young protesters gather at Dataran Merdeka to protest over the politicking taking place in the past seven days.

The protest was called by individuals via social media in the evening. The protesters are mainly student activists, activists and the public.

A protester says the political elites do not care about the people and marginalised groups.

Another protester named Katrina says the people should continue to speak out against the events taking place.

“Take your fear, sadness and anger and put them into action. Have conversations with your friends and people,” she says.

Another protester slams those responsible for the political coup.

“I am furious, who is that? I go to the ground to queue, not to vote for Muhyiddin (Yassin), who is that?” she shouts.

The group chants “bangkit Malaysia” (rise Malaysia), “we ask to reform not deform” and “democracy is dead, the people to stand up”.

“They steal our votes. Don’t let them do it again,” says another protester.

She says the least people can do is to sign a petition in protest of the coup.

“We don’t want Umno in power, make sure they don’t do that,” she says.

Some of the placards they were seen carrying read “RIP Malaysian democracy 9/5/2018 – 29/2/2020” and “I support a vote of no confidence”.

Mahathir’s granddaughter Ineza Roussille, who filmed M for Malaysia, is also spotted at the demonstration.

She, however, declines to speak with media.

Activist Fahmi Reza also shows up with a placard of a clown with features resembling Muhyiddin.

#NotMyPM trending on Twitter

9.30pm: The #NotMyPM hashtag is trending on Twitter with over 20,000 tweets as of writing.

Most are using the hashtag to express their disappointment with Muhyiddin Yassin’s appointment as prime minister.

“It took Malaysia 63 years to remove corrupt, power-mongering politicians. And then it took two years for the same scum to be back in power. Honour or respect do not exist. Hope dies tomorrow. #NotMyPM” tweets user @kyleazarae, with over 700 retweets.

However, some are also expressing their displeasure at the hashtag, saying it disrespects the Agong’s decision to appoint Muhyiddin.

PH top guns arrive for meeting with Mahathir

8:50pm: Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng and Mohamad Sabu are seen arriving for a 9pm meeting with Dr Mahathir at Yayasan Albukhary.

Heavy security is seen tailing Anwar’s vehicle.

Baru Bian was seen arriving at around 8:30pm and leaving 15 minutes later after what appears to be an act of defection from Muhyiddin to Mahathir’s camp.

Also observed entering the building are Liew Chin Tong and Lim Kit Siang.

Baru Bian signs SD backing Dr M, Fahmi claims PH has 114

8.40pm: Baru Bian has signed a declaration supporting Dr Mahathir as prime minister.

This was streamed live by Fahmi Fadzil.

Fahmi says that with Baru, they now have 114 MPs.

GPS: We support Muhyiddin as PM, but we’re not in Perikatan Nasional

8.10pm: GPS says it supports Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister but is not part of the Perikatan Nasional government.

“GPS is not a member of Perikatan Nasional but only as a political entity in Sarawak that gives support to Muhyiddin in the interest of the nation and to save Malaysia from political instability without sacrificing the interest of Sarawak.

“At this juncture, GPS will only be a political party that is friendly to Perikatan Nasional,” says a statement from the Sarawak Chief Minister’s Office.

“Lying to be PM?” Mukhriz disputes numbers backing Muhyiddin

8pm: Mukhriz Mahathir has questioned how 36 MPs can be considered to be in support of Muhyiddin, if six of them are backing Dr Mahathir.

He says the six are himself, Mahathir, Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Simpang Renggam MP Dr Maszlee Malik, Kuala Pilah MP Eddin Syazlee Shith, and Kubang Pasu MP Amiruddin Hamzah.

“Lying to be PM?” he says in a Facebook post.

The post is attached with a statement from yesterday which states that Bersatu backed Muhyiddin as prime minister after a meeting attended by 36 MPs.

GPS decides to back Muhyiddin, snubs Dr M because of DAP

7.25pm: GPS is backing Muhyiddin, says its Santubong MP Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.

He says that the coalition had an online meeting last night, so they can decide on what to tell the Agong in the morning.

Mohd Sahar Misni/The Star

“It’s a case of time constraints because the King wants to end the impasse. (So) We had our meeting online and we decided on Muhyiddin,” he was quoted as saying.

He adds that the coalition did not back Mahathir because of DAP.

Earlier it was reported that Sarawak Chief Minister Abang Johari Openg also snubbed an offer by DAP to make concessions in the state.

Both sides claim majority, PH meets Dr M

5:30pm: PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan says that 114 out of 222 MPs back newly announced Prime Minister Muhyiddin.

He says he is “unclear” which parties they come from but mentions Bersatu, PAS and Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

Aswadi Alias/NST

“This was told to us, we have crossed the line,” he says when stopped by the media outside Muhyiddin’s house in Bukit Damansara.

Meanwhile, Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub tells the media outside Yayasan Albukhary that PH has garnered “111 or 112 MPs” on their side as of 4pm today.

PH leaders are now meeting with interim prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to discuss their next step.

PH will still submit SD figures to Palace

5.15pm: Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub says Pakatan Harapan will get the total figure of statutory declarations (SDs) they have collected and submit them to the Agong to prove the support they have received.

He says the letter from the Palace yesterday did not specify the closure of timeline for both sides to get the support via SDs.

As such, he says the Harapan parties will still work on getting more support from the lawmakers as of 5pm today.

Aizuddin Saad/Berita Harian

“What we are trying to do is get the SD and we are confident that we have the numbers,” says Salahuddin.

He, however, does not reveal if the SDs submitted to the Palace by the party chiefs in the afternoon were enough to ensure Harapan to reclaim Putrajaya.

He only says Harapan may reveal this later after the Harapan meeting with Mahathir this evening.

He says Harapan will study the law and Federal Constitution before determining its next move.

Zuraida grateful for King’s decision.

5.15pm: Zuraida Kamaruddin when met at Muhyiddin’s house was grateful for the King’s decision.

Low Yen Yeing

“Thank God. Our hard work for one week has succeeded in installing Muhyiddin as prime minister,” she says.

King appoints Muhyiddin as 8th prime minister

5pm: The Agong has appointed Muhyiddin Yassin as the 8th prime minister.

Mohd Daud via Getty Images

This is after the King opined that the Pagoh MP enjoyed majority confidence of the House.

Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution states: “The Yang Di-Pertuan Agong shall first appoint as prime minister to preside over the cabinet a member of the House of Representatives who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that house.”

Maszlee Malik sides with Mahathir

4.30pm: Maszlee Malik, who was at Muhyiddin’s house this morning, has declared his support for Mahathir.

Maszlee says as a team player, he had followed the party line when they nominated Muhyiddin as prime minister.

However, he says he found it difficult to work with individuals involved in corruption.

“All this while I have always listened to the party’s orders, up until this second. In fact, this morning I was with party leaders in a negotiation to solve this issue. This crisis must be solved immediately,” he says.

He adds that there is a need to move forward and place the people’s agenda first.

“As such, I am declaring my support for Mahathir to be prime minister,” he says.

Anwar on giving way to Dr M: National interest supersedes my own

2.30pm: Anwar Ibrahim’s presence at Istana Negara earlier was to nominate Dr Mahathir as prime minister.

Anwar wanted to inform the palace that PH will now switch its support from Anwar to Mahathir as a candidate for prime minister.

“I am very touched by the support for me, but I choose to look at the national interest over personal agenda.

Bernama

“So, I hope my friends will not be disappointed. We need to think about national interest and how we can develop the country,” he was quoted as saying.

Dr M attends granddaughter’s wedding

2pm: Dr Mahathir takes a respite from the political turmoil to attend his granddaughter Meera Alyana Mukhriz’s wedding reception.

Special Action Unit (UTK) bodyguards are present at the venue.

Anwar leaves Istana Negara

1.50pm: Anwar Ibrahim leaves the national palace after a 20-minute visit.

Syazwan Kamal/Malaysiakini

His vehicle does not stop but Anwar winds down his window slightly to wave at the journalists.

However, when journalists try to ask questions, his bodyguards try to keep them away from the vehicle.

Pushing ensues and some journalists fall to the ground. Angry journalists then confront Anwar’s bodyguards.

Bersatu sec-gen counters Muhyiddin, affirms Dr M as party chair

1pm: Bersatu secretary-general Marzuki Yahya affirms Dr Mahathir as the Bersatu chairperson.

This is as Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin tries to seize control of the party by declaring himself as the acting Bersatu chairperson.

“In line with the principles of the rule of law and the party constitution, the only individual with absolute power to lead the party is the Bersatu chairperson which is Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“Therefore, party actions and direction is subject to the decision of the Bersatu chairperson,” says Marzuki in a statement.

Muhyiddin tries to seize control of Bersatu

12.35pm: Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin declares himself as the acting Bersatu chairperson in an apparent bid to seize control of the party.

Twitter

Ignoring the fact that the party had appealed for Mahathir to retract his Monday resignation which he agreed and was officially announced as the Bersatu chairperson again on Feb 27, Muhyiddin in a statement claims the seat is now vacant, making him the acting Bersatu chairperson.

According to Bersatu’s constitution, the position of the chairperson is the ultimate authority in the party.

Muhyiddin’s move comes as Mahathir sought to out-manoeuvre him this morning by striking a deal with PH to support the latter as prime minister.

Muhyiddin was on the verge of forming the government with support from Umno and other parties.

Mahathir is vehemently against forming the government with Umno, of which several leaders are facing trial for grand corruption.

PH leaders leave Istana Negara

12pm: PH leaders leave the national palace after a 30-minute visit.

Eizairi Shamsudin/NST

The group comprises Amanah president Mohamad Sabu, Amanah vice-president Mujahid Yusof Rawa, Amanah strategic director Dzulkefly Ahmad and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng.

Anwar will make way to Dr M in new government

12pm: Anwar Ibrahim is expected to stay out of the new government that Dr Mahathir may form even though the former’s party is supporting it.

FMT

“In the halls, insiders are acknowledging that PKR president Anwar Ibrahim volunteered to not join the cabinet and to make way for Mahathir as prime minister, in order to keep Harapan 2.0 alive,” says PKR’s Subang MP Wong Chen.

Sarawak DAP is willing to make concessions with GPS

10.15am: Sarawak DAP is willing to make concessions with GPS in the upcoming state election, in the name of national interest.

Ahmad Irham Mohd Noor

“In the name of national interest, anything can,” Sarawak DAP chief Chong Chien Jen says.

Asked if they’re willing to work with GPS, he replies that they are open to working with anyone other than Umno and PAS.

Chong says the country is at a crossroads now and GPS must choose between working with “racists” and “religious extremists” in Umno and PAS, or with Pakatan Harapan.

Politicians arrive at the palace to meet the King

10.10am: Politicians have started to arrive at the palace to meet the King.

AP

Among those spotted thus far are Bersatu’s Muhyiddin Yassin and Azmin Ali, Umno’s Annuar Musa, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and GPS chief whip Fadillah Yusof.

“I never signed,” says Syed Saddiq on SD

10am: Syed Saddiq says he and several MPs did not sign any statutory declaration to support Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin to become the next prime minister.

“I never signed,” he tells the press on Whatsapp.

Bersatu chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad had yesterday met with Bersatu MPs to make his case against working with Umno. However, after the meeting, Bersatu secretary-general announced that the party would support Muhyiddin, who is prepared to work with Umno, as prime minister.

He mentioned that the meeting was attended by 36 Bersatu MPs, including PKR defectors, but did not specifically say they had individually endorsed Muhyiddin.

Dr M declares he has the number to form new government

9.30am: Dr Mahathir declares that he now has the numbers to form the new government.

This is after he met with Pakatan Harapan leaders this morning.

“I am now confident that I have the numbers needed to garner majority support in the Dewan Rakyat.

Aizuddin Saad/NST

“I am therefore prepared to stand as a prospective candidate for prime minister.

“This decision will be conveyed to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong,” he says in a statement.

Pakatan Harapan, in a separate statement, confirms that the coalition will support Mahathir.

Syed Saddiq breaks ranks

9.15am: Syed Saddiq breaks ranks amid party president Muhyiddin Yassin’s effort to form a new government with Umno.

“I became a politician at a time when my country was viewed with disdain by the world and embarrassed by corruption.

“I believed that Malaysians have the right to a better government. One that is free from corruption, respected and with dignity.

“I would like to stress one thing – I will never work with the corrupt. Far from it, I won’t form a government with them,” Syed Saddiq says in a Twitter post.