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112 MPs for PH gets Mahathir running for salvation

Anwar Ibrahim, the reformist, has the lead in the Parliament but Mahathir’s speech may trouble his bid to become PM says a source

Pakatan Harapan says it has 112 MPs supporting Anwar Ibrahim to take on as Prime Minister.

This got Dr Mahathir, who is Malaysia’s interim PM, to rush for a speech which says it all.

Stumbling at times in his speech, Mahathir looked worn out and in a hurry. He wants to build a new type of government in Malaysia. One without party alignment.

But the underlining message in his speech are as follows:

  1. Not giving in as PM that easily. He is not handing over or intended to hand over to Anwar
  2. Knows about the backdoor government
  3. Full power to decide who to pick as ministers
  4. His party betrayed the Pakatan Harapan
  5. Lastly, he is seeking support in Parliament

However, sources say Pakatan Harapan still commands a majority in Parliament.

The source says the speech by Mahathir is to pre-empt the Agong in his decisions. It is a way to tell the Agong or King of Malaysia that he is still in the running.

THREE BLOCKS IN PARLIAMENT

This after the Islamists from the PAS and the Umno (his former party) rejected Mahathir. The PAS and the Umno gave full support to Mahathir before they met the King.

It is after the meeting that they suddenly pulled their support to form a third block in the Parliament.

We cannot reveal who is the other 20 MPs supporting Anwar Ibrahim but we know he has the 92 PH MPs with him.

Anwar Ibrahim’s block is the biggest in Parliament with the 92 seats. The parliament in Malaysia has 222 seats. This gives Anwar an edge.

With the 20 additional MPs, Anwar claims he has the 112 needed to form a government and rule.

It should make the Agong’s decision easier, some say. But it does not seem that easy though.

The PAS and the Umno now constitute the second biggest block in Parliament. They have around 60 MPs.

MAHATHIR IN MINORITY

With the rejection of Mahathir’s proposal (which he made public yesterday), the ex-PM is now in minority in Parliament.

He only commands the direct support of the MPs from the Bersatu. Not all of them will follow him, it seems.

He also has the support from the 11 MPs who left Anwar Ibrahim’s party. They are partyless but may join the Bersatu of Mahathir.

This will give Mahathir some 37 seats. A meagre number that is insufficient for him to be in the running as PM.

As for the PAS and Umno, they are in an alliance and this makes them the second most powerful group in Parliament.

They do not want to work with any parties, not with Anwar or Mahathir. They do not want to work with a coalition that has the Democratic Action Party as partners.

The DAP has 42 seats in Parliament, making it the biggest party in the PH. The Umno and PAS refuse to work with PH because of the DAP. The Umno, in particular, says it is their ‘principle’ not to work with DAP.

The PAS is following the Umno on this principle. But in reality, the PAS leadership is against Anwar Ibrahim while the Umno has no real hatred for Anwar.

They kicked Anwar out of the party in a bras-de-fer in 1998. The current Umno leader, an ally of Anwar then, dumped the latter to support Mahathir.

It led to Anwar going to jail and get beaten with a black eye that became the symbol of a reform movement in the country.

Zahid is not going to support Anwar now, because there is still the shadow of Mahathir over him, says a source.

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