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Pakatan Harapan coalition could come back from the dead & form new M’sian government

Plot twist.

Sulaiman Daud | February 25, 11:52 pm

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The ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition in Malaysia ceased to exist on Feb. 24.

Pakatan Harapan collapsed after Muhyiddin Yassin announced that component party Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) would leave the four-party coalition, effectively cratering as it would not have a simple majority to form the government.

But it could come back from the dead by Feb. 26.

Interim Prime Minister

Feb. 25 saw interim Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad report for work, the only member of Malaysia’s elected government as all other ministers were relieved of their duties, following Mahathir’s resignation as prime minister, which dissolved the Cabinet.

Mahathir held meetings with the leaders of various political parties during the day, from Pakatan Harapan party leaders like Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Guan Eng, to leaders of UMNO and PAS opposition parties.

Mahathir breaks uncharacteristic 48 hours of silence with photos of him back at work

UMNO, PAS call for snap election

At around 7:25pm, UMNO, PAS and other opposition MPs held a press conference.

According to the Star Online, they rejected Mahathir’s proposal to form a “unity government” comprising members of various parties, whether they were in opposition or not.

They called for a dissolution of parliament and a snap election.

The Malay Mail also reported that Islamist party PAS was dead-set against forming a government together with the DAP, whom it blamed for “racial friction” without giving specifics.

Pakatan Harapan could get a majority in parliament

Representatives from the remainder of the Pakatan Harapan parties held a meeting of their own.

After the meeting, Malaysiakini quoted Amanah’s strategic communications chief Khalid Samad, who said it was a “happy meeting”.

He added that Pakatan Harapan had enough seats to form a majority government once more.

Khalid, when asked about UMNO and PAS’s call for a snap election, replied: “No, we didn’t discuss. Why should we waste money on fresh polls when we can get a clear (majority).”

Adding up the numbers

Following Bersatu’s exit (Berexit) and Azmin Ali’s defection from PKR, Pakatan Harapan was left with 92 MPs.

This wasn’t enough to command a majority in parliament, where 112 out of 222 MPs granted a simple majority.

But Azmin’s faction of 11 MPs expressed their support for Mahathir as Prime Minister.

Gabungan Parti Sarawak, another coalition with 18 MPs, also supported Mahathir.

And Pakatan Harapan could count on the Sabah Heritage Party’s (Warisan Sabah) nine MPs, with whom it is allied.

Assuming they all joined forces, this would be enough to command a majority in parliament, even without getting back the members of Mahathir’s wayward Bersatu party.

Pakatan Harapan could be resurrected on Feb. 26, perhaps with new faces, but with the same authority to form the government of the day.

Pakatan Harapan in M’sia is no more

Top image from Pakatan Harapan’s Facebook page.

About Sulaiman Daud

Sulaiman believes that we can be heroes, if just for one day. His favourite Doctor is Peter Capaldi's Twelve and his favourite person is Jürgen Klopp. He also writes about film and pop-culture, which you are very welcome to read here.

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