Muhyiddin Using GLC Appointments to Shore up Support

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Muhyiddin Yassin has to appoint more Perikatan Nasional MPs to government-linked companies (GLCs) to consolidate support for himself as his position as prime minister is shaky, said analysts.

“Muhyiddin’s majority support has not been stable since Day 1 of the formation of his government. This support can swing at any time,” said International Islamic University Malaysia political science lecturer Dr Lau Zhe Wei.

“If we look at Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff’s comments on the child marriage issue, we can see that this government is not firm when something ‘off’ is said.”

He said Muhyiddin needs PAS to stay in power, and thus, their MPs are allowed to get away with off-putting comments.

Shortly after her appointment as deputy women and family development minister, Zailah had defended her stand on child marriages and received a barrage of criticism on Twitter.

The Rantau Panjang MP has since deleted her Twitter account.

Lau also commented on another PAS minister, Takiyuddin Hassan, who remarked this week that all government MPs who don’t hold any government positions will be made heads of GLCs.

“With Bersatu getting an obvious imbalanced share of positions in the cabinet, it’s not surprising that PAS and Umno wish to fight for more resources, power and positions for themselves.

“Although tying political rewards and political power is common in any part of the world, Muhyiddin needs to avoid that connotation as his government does not command the support of the masses.

“At the very least, he needs to prove that his cabinet is competent without taking politics into consideration,” said Lau.

Untested support

Ilham Centre executive director Mohd Azlan Zainal said that Muhyiddin’s “majority support from MPs” was still questionable, although it was backed by the king.

“His support is only obtained en bloc through political parties,” said Azlan.

Not even all members of Muhyiddin’s Bersatu support him, he added.

Notable MPs who had gone against Muhyiddin’s appointment were former prime minister and Bersatu chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad, his son, Mukhriz, Youth chief Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and former education minister Dr Maszlee Malik.

“Muhyiddin needs a minimum support of 112 MPs when Parliament reconvenes on May 18. Parliament is the best arena to prove that he has support.”

As for the appointment of MPs to GLCs, Azlan said this was part of a bigger plot to ensure the prime minister has everyone’s backing.

He said this also appeared to be an attempt by Muhyiddin to placate Umno leaders who had earlier criticised his cabinet line-up.

“He also has to ensure that he has the full support of PAS MPs.

“GLC positions should be given to qualified individuals who can make decisions that benefit Malaysians and the country.

“But it is obvious that the GLC positions are being manipulated to shore up support. This would mean that government resources can now be channelled to selected constituencies to face fresh elections,” Azlan said. – TMI