PETALING JAYA: Following the withdrawal of support by Umno for the Perikatan Nasional-led government, analysts say it is time to hold a vote of confidence in Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
Council of Professors fellow Jeniri Amir said it was very obvious that the government no longer had the majority, with at least 13 Umno MPs following the party’s decision to withdraw support for PN.
“There’s no question about it, Malaysia cannot go on like this, mired in uncertainty. We need to settle this once and for all.
“We need to have a vote of confidence in the Dewan Rakyat, and if Muhyiddin has the majority, then let it be. But if he does not, the MPs need to vote for a new prime minister. We just need to move on,” he told FMT.
Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs echoed Jeniri, saying there was serious doubt over the government’s majority in Parliament. Nonetheless, he does not expect the PN government to allow for a confidence vote to be taken.
“In countries that practice a Westminster system, a special parliamentary sitting would be held so a vote of confidence can be carried out, but I don’t see this government calling for one.”
Meanwhile, former academic Azmi Hassan told FMT that he believed Umno’s decision today was down to Muhyiddin’s reluctance to resign, especially following the controversy over the emergency ordinances’ revocation.
“The increasing calls for Muhyiddin to resign is a clear signal that the PN administration no longer commands sufficient support.
“I believe more Umno ministers and deputy ministers will follow Shamsul Anuar Nasarah in quitting the Cabinet. I don’t think Umno MPs can resist the calls of the grassroots to ditch PN.”
However, Universiti Utara Malaysia’s Kamarul Zaman Yusoff said statutory declarations were not “conclusive” evidence that the government had lost its majority support, though the matter needed to be settled once and for all.
He told FMT the best way to determine support in Parliament would be through a vote of confidence in the Dewan Rakyat, adding that there were rumours that some opposition MPs were supporting Muhyiddin now.
The bigger question, he said, was whether any other MP in the Dewan Rakyat could command the majority support required to form a new government.
“I believe that even if Muhyiddin no longer has majority support, in the absence of an alternative MP having larger support than him, then he can remain as the prime minister of a minority government.”
Universiti Malaysia Sabah’s Lee Kuok Tiung also believed that not all Umno MPs would comply with the party’s decision, pointing out how fractious the party had become of late.