Mahathir claims majority support for PM with backing of 115 MPs ahead of Muhyiddin's swearing-in ceremony

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and other PH leaders after a PH meeting on Feb 29, 2020, where he announced that he has the support of 114 MPs for the position of PM.
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and other PH leaders after a PH meeting on Feb 29, 2020, where he announced that he has the support of 114 MPs for the position of PM.PHOTO: DR MAHATHIR MOHAMAD/FACEBOOK

KUALA LUMPUR - Interim Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has claimed majority support, issuing a list of 115 names of MPs who support him for the post of PM.

This is more than the minimum 112 needed to control the 222-seat Parliament.

However, two have disavowed the list overnight - Bukit Gantang MP Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal and Sri Aman MP Masir Kujat - leaving him with 113.

Before the two MPs issued their denials, Tun Dr Mahathir had announced a list of 114 MPs who back him. Pakatan Harapan then updated the list to include Hulu Selangor MP June Leow, from Parti Keadilan Rakyat, who was left out of the initial list.  

Dr Mahathir had also pointed out that six MPs from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) including himself, did not support Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for the prime minister's post.

"For now, I have got 114 MPs supporting Tun Dr Mahathir for the position of the eighth Prime Minister," he had said in a statement on Saturday after chairing a Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting.

He added that he had prepared a letter which he will deliver to the King to explain the latest development.

"I hope that the King will accept my letter and my explanation."

The last-ditch meeting came just hours after the King named Tan Sri Muhyiddin as the next Prime Minister, and declared that the latter will be sworn in on Sunday (March 1) morning.

The six Bersatu MPs who are with Tun Mahathir include his son who is also Bersatu deputy president Mukhriz Mahathir, Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman and former education minister Maszlee Malik.

Datuk Seri Mukhriz had earlier posted on his Instagram page: “How can 36 Bersatu members of Parliament support Tan Sri Muhyiddin as PM if there are six of them that supports Tun Mahathir as PM?”

Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub said that all 114 MPs will meet at 9am on Sunday.

“We will meet peacefully. We do not want any trouble. We just want to say that the numbers before this had misled (the King), it is incorrect,” Mr Salahuddin told reporters.

Asked if PH planned to allow Mr Muhyiddin to be sworn in as prime minister on Sunday, he said: “We will not stop that.”

 

Meanwhile, some 100 people held a peaceful demonstration at Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur, against the incoming government.

Prominent lawyer and rights activist Ambiga Sreenevasan 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 - a democratic way,” she said.