Mahathir: We'll see if there's a vote of no-confidence

There have been claims by an opposition party of an impending Pakatan Harapan coup against Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad. PHOTO: AFP

KUALA LUMPUR (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad has decided to take the wait-and-see approach, following claims by an opposition party of an impending Pakatan Harapan (PH) coup against the leader.

"I will wait and see if there is a vote of no-confidence. I will see if PAS will support me or not," said Tun Mahathir on Thursday (Feb 21), using the acronym for Parti Islam SeMalaysia.

He said this in response to statements by the Islamist party in pledging support for him in the event of a betrayal from within PH.

PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan said a "sample" letter of support given to Dr Mahathir - which the PM affirmed - during a meeting last Friday with the Islamist party's president Abdul Hadi Awang, was to indicate "backing" only in the event of "a vote of no-confidence".

"We know Parliament will resume in March, and this began with Dr Mahathir's statement. Tun mentioned it (betrayal) and politicians understand," the PAS secretary-general said on Sunday.

Mr Takiyuddin said the alleged betrayal could come from "two component parties" within PH but declined to reveal which.

His comments drew a scathing response from PH's allies including Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) chief Anwar Ibrahim, who said such claims were lies.

Datuk Seri Anwar said the motive behind the claims is aimed at covering up the allegations that PAS had received millions from Umno.

For a vote of confidence to succeed in the Parliament, it must have the support of at least 112 out of 222 MPs.

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