PM choice may land with the people of Malaysia

KUALA LUMPUR (The Star/ANN) - A snap election may take place if the Dewan Rakyat fails to determine which prime minister candidate has a clear majority support, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

A snap election may take place if the Dewan Rakyat, which will have a special sitting on March 2, fails to determine which prime minister candidate has a clear majority support, says Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The interim prime minister, who had an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong earlier yesterday, said the King had one-to-one interviews with all Members of Parliament (MPs).

Despite that, there was no prime minister candidate with a distinct majority.

“And because there is no distinct majority, the King said the right forum would be the Dewan Rakyat.

“So Dewan Rakyat will be called on March 2 in order to determine who has the majority support to become the next prime minister.

“However, if the Dewan Rakyat fails to determine the candidate with clear majority support, then we will have to go for a snap election,” he told reporters after unveiling the Economic Stimulus Package 2020.

Dr Mahathir resigned as prime minister on Feb 24 but the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, in accepting his resignation, requested he take on the role of interim prime minister until the premiership was clearly resolved.

In an unprecedented move, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah met almost all MPs over two days to determine who commands the confidence of the majority.

On his proposed non-partisan government, Dr Mahathir said the plan is for all parties to have representatives in the Cabinet, pointing out that an independent lawmaker can also be appointed if the person is qualified.

Asked if he was willing to work with Pakatan Harapan to form a government, Dr Mahathir said Cabinet members may come from various parties but they will not be regarded as representatives of their parties.

His own party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, had quit the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition on the same day he resigned as prime minister.

“Members (of the Cabinet) will be individuals. They may belong to a certain party but they are selected based on their individual capabilities.

“They would not be in the Cabinet to represent their party,” he reiterated.

Dr Mahathir had previously said he had hoped to lead a non-partisan administration that prioritises the national interest, and that “rightly or wrongly, politics and political parties must be set aside for the time being”.

In breaking his silence on the political crisis that led to his abrupt resignation, he said that politicians and political parties had become too obsessed with politics to the extent that they overlooked the economic and health issues plaguing the nation.

“If allowed, I will try to set up a non-partisan administration that does not side with any party. Only the national interest will be given priority, this is what I will try to do,” he had said.


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