Mahiaddin has no choice; he must resign now

Without a majority, his position is no longer tenable, as he has lost any legitimacy

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Prime Minister Mahiaddin Yasin has admitted on national TV that he no longer commands the confidence of a majority of MPs in Parliament.

That leaves him with two options: resign or dissolve Parliament.

Without a majority, his position is no longer tenable, as he has lost any legitimacy.

With the pandemic, the dissolution of Parliament is not feasible, especially after what happened at the Sabah state election last year.

Matters are outside Mahiaddin’s hands now. He is no longer in any position to offer ‘carrots’ to lure opposition party MPs to his side and cling on to power.

The reforms he proposed during the telecast yesterday sound promising. Yet, the recent hauling up of a string of activists and critics does not inspire confidence that his administration is committed to democratic norms and reforms.

He had plenty of time to work out a confidence and supply agreement with other MPs much earlier. But it is too late now. His call for a coming together of political parties, supposedly in the interest of the nation, sounds less like an olive branch and more like a desperate clutching at straws.

It should be left to a new government to formulate a broad-based reform plan that goes much, much deeper than what Mahiaddin has proposed. The opposition parties must get their act together and offer progressive and workable alternatives which can ease the people’s suffering and take the country forward. The priority should be mitigating the Covid crisis.

It is ironic and presumptuous of Mahiaddin to claim that a new PM cannot be appointed as no one else has majority support now – for he himself was appointed without having his support proven in Parliament. It is not for him now to decide who is likely (or not) to command majority support among MPs.

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He should just step down with whatever honour and dignity he has left, in line with constitutional requirements.

Aliran executive committee
14 August 2021
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