Malaysian PM hints at no snap polls

Muhyiddin denies being a traitor and says only took office after Mahathir failed to garner a majority, thanks the King for choosing him

The newly-minted Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin took office to prevent a dissolution of the Parliament.

This is what he says in his first-ever televised message as premier on Monday (March 2).

The much-anticipated speech explains the mindset of the political figure who surprised Malaysia when he took over as PM.

He says the political chaos in the country started with the resignation of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as PM.

Mahathir resigned on Monday in another shock that took the country by surprise.

He also indicates the Malaysian King had to appoint a PM who was most likely to command a majority in Parliament.

He admits he did not become PM via a general election, but he insists a majority of MPs supports him. This is the reason why the King picked him as PM.

“After the political turmoil of the past week, I know my countrymen want our country to be back on track.

“The people certainly do not want the country dragged into a greater political turmoil,” he says.

MAHATHIR HAD NO MAJORITY

Yassin says he did not desire to get the top post and was always supportive of Dr Mahathir.

“I only stepped forward to save the situation when both candidates for prime minister did not get majority support from the Dewan Rakyat,” he says in a televised address to the nation tonight.

He says Bersatu had fully backed Mahathir, but the latter failed to get majority support, as announced by Istana Negara last Thursday.

After that, the King invited the parties to propose a leader for PM.

“What choice did I have? To continue supporting Mahathir who did not have majority support, or to accept the candidacy as prime minister.

“If I kept supporting Mahathir, this political crisis would be prolonged and Parliament might be dissolved,” he says.

Dr Mahathir calls Muhyiddin a traitor who betrayed him. Muhyiddin rejects this accusation.

PM FOR ALL?

“I understand what the people want is a caring government that is efficient in solving people’s problems.

“You need money to buy daily necessities, books and schooling needs for your children, to pay the water and electricity bills, rent, car and housing loans, and other needs to support family life,” he says.

He adds he would ensure affordable quality healthcare and use his six years of experience as education minister to raise education levels to match those of developed nations.

“I am a prime minister for all Malaysians, from Perlis to Sabah. Friend, whether you are Malay, Chinese, Indian, Sikh, Iban, Kadazan, Dusun, Murut, Orang Asli or any race or ethnicity, I am your prime minister, friends,” he says.

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