DEFIANT BERSATU AS GOOD AS CALLS ZAHID A LIAR OVER MUHYIDDIN’S ‘PLEA’ TO JOIN MUAFAKAT: WILL ZAHID EVEN BOTHER TO WAIT FOR MUSA AMAN TO WIN SABAH POLLS BEFORE TRIGGERING GE15? UMNO’S FORMAL REJECTION OF PERIKATAN TRIGGERS SHOCK WAVES – AND KNEE-JERK REACTIONS FROM MUHYIDDIN’S MEN

KUALA LUMPUR — Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s hold on power appears to be growing ever more tenuous after Umno declared its exit from Perikatan Nasional (PN) today in a shock move that effectively shifts control of Parliament back into Barisan Nasional’s (BN) hands, legal experts said.

Lim Wei Jiet, a constitutional lawyer, said the Pagoh MP now leads a shaky minority government beholden to BN and PAS, who provide over two-thirds of the seats in the loose coalition Muhyiddin scrambled to form in March.

“It does not change anything in Parliament in the sense that the government would not fall because there is technically still support from Umno MPs towards Muhyiddin as prime minister,” the lawyer added.

The Umno president announced the decision just two days after the High Court convicted Datuk Seri Najib Razak on money laundering, criminal breach of trust and power abuse charges in relation to money misappropriated from 1MDB.

Najib was Zahid’s immediate predecessor.

Zahid when explaining the decision said Umno and BN will now focus on strengthening their relations with PAS in Muafakat Nasional (MN), prompting questions about PN’s status as a coalition and Parti Bersatu Pribumi Bersatu’s position.

Muhyddin’s Bersatu, together with defectors from PKR, control just over 30 federal seats.

But even as his fledgling coalition crumbles, the Bersatu president can remain as prime minister so long as he commands majority support in Parliament.

“The Constitution merely requires that the prime minister enjoys the support of the majority of MPs,” said constitutional lawyer Surendra Ananth.

“So regardless of coalition politics, as long as the BN and PAS MPs still support Muhyiddin, my view is that his government can remain. This is of course assuming he has majority support.”

Neither Muhyiddin nor his party has not publicly responded to Zahid’s announcement.

But Zahid claimed the Bersatu president met with several BN lawmakers in Parliament yesterday, seemingly hinting at the party’s interest to align with MN.

However, Zahid said the matter will be reviewed first.  – MALAY MAIL

‘Bersatu did not request to join Muafakat Nasional, we were invited’

A Bersatu supreme council member has denied the claim that its president Muhyiddin Yassin had made a request to bring the party into Muafakat Nasional (MN).

Redzuan Md Yusof (above) stressed that Bersatu was invited to join the political coalition between Umno and PAS.

“Muhyiddin has never made the request to join MN. We were invited to join MN,” he said when contacted by Malaysiakini.

Redzuan was commenting on a statement made by Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi earlier, where the latter said Muhyiddin had expressed his interest to join the coalition.

“The supreme council has agreed to accept and give a mandate (to join) based on the invitation from MN.”

Earlier today, Zahid told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur that Muhyiddin had purportedly made the request to join MN during a meeting with BN MPs on Wednesday.

“I will leave it to the MN committee to study whether Bersatu’s request further strengthens MN in the interest of the rakyat and the country,” he had said.

However, Redzuan refuted this, claiming that what Zahid said was inaccurate.

He added that the invitation for Bersatu to join MN could be to balance Muhyiddin’s plan to form PN. – MKINI

Umno snubs Perikatan in favour of Muafakat

KUALA LUMPUR — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced today that his party will not join the informal Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition that controls the federal government.

The announcement comes two days after former Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak was convicted on all counts in his SRC International corruption trial.

The remarks suggest that Umno’s support for the ruling PN was now strictly in terms of confidence and supply.

However, Ahmad Zahid stressed that this decision did not mean PN no longer commanded majority support in Parliament, saying that it was purely about his party’s entry into the coalition.

He also confirmed that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had met with several BN lawmakers in Parliament yesterday to express Bersatu’s interest in joining MN.

Ahmad Zahid said PAS, the other major component of the informal alliance, must study this first.

The Umno president also reiterated that his party and PAS already resolved previously that their priority would be to develop MN.

“I will leave it to MN’s central committee to consider Bersatu’s intention to join, in the event that this could reinforce MN for the good of the people and country.”

When asked how long it would take to decide Bersatu’s entry, the Umno president said it would only come after Aidiladha celebrations were completed.

Ahmad Zahid had hinted at today’s announcement shortly after Najib became the first Malaysian ex-prime minister to ever be convicted of a crime on Tuesday.

When asked if there was any connection between this decision and Najib’s conviction, Zahid declined to say but he asserted earlier that the matter was decided on July 24 or four days prior to that.

“That is up to you to interpret,” he said.

Muhyiddin’s support in Parliament has already been exposed as tenuous, after his government barely managed to replace the House Speaker by just two votes.

The inability to count on Umno’s support beyond confidence and supply would make it virtually impossible for PN to legislate effectively. – MALAY MAIL

MALAY MAIL / MKINI / MALAY MAIL

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