Muhyiddin to table vote of confidence in Parliament next month, claims still has backing as PM

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Confident he still commands the support of a majority of MPs, therefore issue of him resigning does not arise.

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin today announced that a confidence vote will be tabled in the Dewan Rakyat when it convenes in September, while insisting that he still has the required majority support from lawmakers in the form of statutory declarations (SD) to lead Malaysia.

Muhyiddin said he was informed by Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah that His Majesty had obtained SDs from eight Umno MPs who formally informed the Dewan Rakyat Speaker they were withdrawing support for him.

“However, I am aware that my position as prime minister is always being questioned,” he said in a televised public address this afternoon.

“Therefore, I have informed His Majesty that I will determine my legitimacy as prime minister in Parliament. A motion of confidence vote will be tabled when Parliament convenes in September.

“Only through this manner, will my position as prime minister and the Perikatan Nasional ruling government be determined in accordance with the law and the Constitution,” he said.

Several cabinet ministers were also present during the special address, including Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Senior Minister (International Trade and Industry) Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, Senior Education Minister Datuk Dr Mohd Radzi Jidin, and Senior Works Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof.

Also present were Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M. Saravanan, Environment and Water Minister Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Sabah and Sarawak Affairs) Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili, and Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Mohd Zuki Ali.

Muhyiddin said His Majesty cited Article 43(2)(a) and Article 43(4) of the Federal Constitution in the official letter to him following the withdrawal of support from eight Umno MPs.

Both provisions concerned the requirement of the PM to resign if he no longer has majority support and for the King to appoint an MP as prime minister who he believed commanded majority support in the Lower House of Parliament.

Subsequent to the disclosure, Muhyiddin said he was summoned for an audience in Istana Negara at 11am.

“In today’s audience, I have informed His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that I had received a number of declaration letters from MPs assuring me that I still have the confidence of the majority of MPs at this time.

“Accordingly, my resignation under Article 43(4) of the Federal Constitution does not arise,” he said.

He added that the King consented to his proposal for a confidence vote in September.

Muhyiddin said his Cabinet and the current government bureaucracy will continue to function normally, with particular focus on reining in Covid-19 infections that remain above the 10,000 caseload daily.

He also claimed that his critics are “uncomfortable” with him because he refused to accede to their demands, including interfering with the courts.

“This includes appeals for me to interfere in court matters to free several individuals who are being charged over criminal acts,” said Muhyiddin.

He did not name these individuals, but he is believed to be alluding to Umno president Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and former president Najib Razak, who were slapped with numerous charges relating to corruption, money laundering and abuse of power.

Meanwhile, Muhyiddin brushed off allegations of “derhaka” (treason), stressing that his actions were meant to defend the Federal Constitution and the constitutional monarchy system.

“I will not sacrifice my principles and neglect my oath of office to fulfil all my obligations with honesty, loyalty to King and country while preserving, protecting and defending the constitution,” he said.

Muhyiddin’s administration has been accused of derhaka after failing to heed the Agong’s decree to have the emergency ordinances (EO) annulled through Parliament to fulfil Article 150(3) of the Federal Constitution.

Instead, the government insisted that the Agong had to act on advice of the cabinet to fulfil Article 40 of the Federal Constitution.

Eventually, the administration relented and promised that the EO would be annulled through Parliament, also in September.

The political turmoil comes after Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday claimed that enough of the party’s federal lawmakers have signed a declaration to withdraw its support for Muhyiddin and the Perikatan Nasional government.

Umno revealed 11 of their MPs no longer support Muhyiddin.

Following Umno’s announcement, Muhyiddin is believed to have just 104 MPs supporting him in the 220-MP Dewan Rakyat.

But while there is speculation that Muhyiddin has fallen out with Umno due to the court issues, several politicians were also freed during his 17-month administration.

They include former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman, who was acquitted of 46 charges ahead of the Sabah elections last year. Shortly after his acquittal, Musa announced that the Warisan state government had fallen following more than a dozen crossovers.

Musa, who was backed by the Muhyiddin administration, then caused the Sabah elections to take place despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

Another high-profile acquittal during the Muhyiddin administration was the overturning of Putrajaya MP Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s appeal last month.