This is after Umno on Oct 13 indicated that it may quit the Perikatan Nasional government if Muhyiddin did not accede to their demands, hours after Anwar met the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to present what he claimed to be evidence to show that he now has majority support in the Dewan Rakyat.
Muhyiddin had since sent a representative to engage Umno on its demand in a bid to rescue his government which has a fragile majority in the Dewan Rakyat. Muhyiddin has the support of 113 MPs in the 222-member House.
“In the current uncertain political situation, anything is possible. Anwar could come out on top or (Umno’s Gua Musang MP) Tengku Razaleigh, or (Umno president) Ahmad Zahid Hamidi or even (former prime minister) Najib Abdul Razak could make a comeback.
“We also don’t know what will happen in the negotiations between Muhyiddin and Umno. Everything could change.
“Likewise, we don’t know if Umno’s support for Anwar is sincere or intended to rattle Muhyiddin,” he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.
Umno supreme council leader Tajuddin Abdul Rahman had said that his party is making several demands including the deputy prime minister position and several key cabinet posts.
However, Khalid said Muhyiddin would be significantly weakened if he gives in to Umno in order to remain as the prime minister.
“If Muhyiddin gives in to what Umno is demanding for simply because it has the most seats then it will be the beginning of the end.
“He (Muhyiddin) can remain as the prime minister but he would have effectively lost his power.
“This month, Umno may ask for the deputy prime minister and senior minister positions, six months from now they could demand the prime minister position,” Khalid said.
Behind the scenes, the horse-trading has begun, and this is expected to intensify in the following days.
Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin (above), is ending his quarantine today, which will also give him more flexibility to engage in negotiations.
“Alhamdulillah, I’m back,” he said in a Facebook post after ending his 14-day quarantine after being exposed to a fellow minister who later tested positive for Covid-19. Hamzah is the home minister.
Hamzah was a key negotiator for Muhyiddin during the Sabah election, which saw PN and allies winning the state election and Bersatu ultimately securing the position of the chief minister over Umno.
However, the incident irked Umno, further souring the relationship between Umno and Bersatu and culminating in Umno’s current ultimatum.