BOMBSHELL – KU LI TO BE ‘INTERIM PM’ IF MUHYIDDIN’S GOVT COLLAPSES – INTERIM CABINET OF 17 MINISTERS TO BE FORMED WITH MPs FROM BOTH SIDES OF DIVIDE UNTIL SNAP GE15 IS HELD BY MARCH 2021 WHEN COVID SUBSIDES? BUT WHY? SHOULD NOT THE COALITION WITH THE MOST MPs BE ALLOWED TO FORM MINORITY GOVT FIRST – WHY SHOULD AGONG HAND POWER OVER TO KU LI UNLESS HE HAS THE SUPPORT OF THE MAJORITY OF MPs NEEDED TO BE PM? OTHERWISE, WON’T THIS BE ANOTHER BACKROOM DEAL OVERRIDING THE CONSTITUTION?

PETALING JAYA: As talks between PPBM and Umno continue, several BN MPs are said to be pushing for an interim government assisted by a handful of ministers and a National Consultative Council (NCC).

A BN insider said some see this as an alternative if Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government fails to get majority support during Budget 2021 in the coming Dewan Rakyat sitting.

He said several individuals are pushing for Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to be the interim prime minister if the present day government collapses.

“By right, fresh polls need to be held if the government collapses but since we are in the middle of a Covid-19 crisis, an interim government could be set up,” he told FMT.

The insider, with close links to these talks, said they want Tengku Razaleigh to be assisted by a maximum of 17 ministers, aided by the NCC, just like the committee set up after the 1969 race riots.

The proposed NCC is suggested to be made up of MPs from both sides of the political divide

He added the group, which is close to Ku Li, wants to hold the 15th general election (GE15) by March when the Covid-19 pandemic settles.

“From November to March, there are proposals for an interim government if Muhyiddin fails to get support in Parliament,” he added.

Yesterday, the country saw a record high of 869 Covid-19 cases. Many new clusters have been emerging daily.

On Oct 13, after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim had a royal audience with the King, Umno revealed that they were considering pulling out of Perikatan Nasional if their demands for power sharing with PPBM are not met. Both parties are now in the midst of negotiations.

Umno leaders feel sidelined by PPBM, despite having the most number of MPs when the present coalition was formed in February this year.

This unhappiness was compounded after the Sabah polls as the chief minister’s post went to PPBM, causing restlessness as Umno felt the cooperation with PPBM may not be benefiting them.

Umno Supreme Council member Tajuddin Abdul Rahman had said Umno is pushing for a deputy prime minister’s post and a Cabinet reshuffle to strengthen the party’s position in PN.

Another BN insider said several Umno MPs are also hoping to name their party president, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, as the deputy prime minister if PPBM agrees with their demands.

“There are several factions in Umno, with each camp having their proposals in the hope of strengthening the party in the government,” he said.

No-confidence motion should be first on Dewan Rakyat agenda, says MP

PETALING JAYA: A DAP MP says the motion of no-confidence against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin should take precedence over other matters and be the first item on the Dewan Rakyat’s agenda at the next sitting starting on Nov 2.

Beruas MP Ngeh Koo Ham said there was no purpose in MPs going through other items on the agenda if the government was going to fall, adding that the lower house was a platform to determine if Muhyiddin still enjoyed the majority support of MPs.

He said Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Harun had contended that a motion of no-confidence could not be debated without the consent of a minister. This meant that the motion would never be brought for a vote if the prime minister decides not to allow it to surface, Ngeh added.

“Azhar has made Parliament subservient to the executive when the democratic system under our Federal Constitution requires the executive to be answerable to Parliament.

“The speaker must not hide behind the Dewan Rakyat’ Standing Orders, which are not even the law but just rules governing the internal meetings of the Dewan Rakyat.

“The Standing Orders cannot regulate or control matters provided in the Federal Constitution, the supreme law of our land.

“A motion of no-confidence against a prime minister must not be treated as a private member’s business, subservient to government business, but a matter determining whether the government should still be the government of the day,” he said in a statement today.

He urged Azhar to make the honourable decision by adhering to “the law of the land” instead of taking sides to protect the government.

It was reported previously that Azhar had told Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to consult de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan on getting the motion against Muhyiddin tabled and debated in the Dewan Rakyat.

Razaleigh, in a letter to Azhar dated Sept 25, had asked why the no-confidence motion submitted by Langkawi MP Dr Mahathir Mohamad twice in May and July was not debated and voted on.

In his reply on Sept 29, Azhar said he was bound by the rules of the Dewan Rakyat and had “no problem” considering such motions if all government affairs were completed or if there was a motion by a minister under Standing Orders 14 (2) to prioritise private motions.

This comes after several MPs, including Mahathir, submitted fresh no-confidence motions against Muhyiddin. An earlier attempt in May did not succeed for lack of time at the Dewan Rakyat.

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