EDITORIAL: Final battle between Anwar and Dr Mahathir

The ongoing political crisis is seen as the ultimate battle between Anwar and Dr Mahathir as the 8th Prime Minister of Malaysia. The ongoing political crisis for the last few days is believed to end soon once the king decides after meeting all members of parliament. A total of 222 members of parliament have expressed […]

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Leader of the Pakatan Harapan coalition, Anwar Ibrahim (L) chats with members of the media at his house in Kuala Lumpur on May 17, 2018. Malaysian police searched the home of scandal-tainted former premier Najib Razak on May 16 as the new government probes a massive graft scandal after sweeping to power in historic elections. / AFP PHOTO / Roslan RAHMAN

February 27, 2020

The ongoing political crisis is seen as the ultimate battle between Anwar and Dr Mahathir as the 8th Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The ongoing political crisis for the last few days is believed to end soon once the king decides after meeting all members of parliament.
A total of 222 members of parliament have expressed their stand to the king. Voters would also figure out that the stand of the elected representatives picked by them during last elections.
Voters witness political parties keep changing their stand. Each party is gauging the stand that would best fit its political interests. They are judged by voters based on the reasons cited to save the country.
We need to have a new government to run the country and the current situation should not be extended further. After meeting all members of parliament, the king has two options. One is to instruct designated people to form the government based on the stand expressed by members of parliament. The other is to dissolve the parliament for a fresh election.
The Barisan Nasional and Malaysia Islamic Party (PAS) announced retracting the statutory declaration which pledged support to Dr Mahathir on Tuesday and proposed to dissolve parliament instead. This took place after Dr Mahathir planned to form a unity government to include both the ruling government and the opposition. Barisan and PAS expressed their unwillingness to work with a specific party and some individuals in the government.
The proposal to dissolve the parliament for a fresh election received support from many non-governmental organisations and some of the voters. This is seen as an option to resolve the political turmoil in a more effective and democratic manner. However, Barisan and PAS are only holding 60 seats and the number is insufficient to call for a fresh election.
What about the 11 MPs led by Azmin Ali who share the same stand with Barisan and PAS? Some say they would be joining Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia. If Azmin’s team were to join Bersatu, they are supporting Dr Mahathir. But 36 of them and political parties from East Malaysia would not be sufficient to form a government with simple majority.
The key personality here is Dr Mahathir. In his live telecast speech on Wednesday, he said if situation allows him, he will form a `unity government’ where he would convince politicians to join the `unity government’.
The Pakatan Harapan government may have fallen but the three main political parties in the coalition – Parti Keadilan Rakyat (39 seats), Democratic Action Party (42 seats) and Parti Amanah Negara (11 seats) remain united. They have initially supported Dr Mahathir but now switches to support Anwar Ibrahim as the Prime Minister. They are believed to have switched to Anwar after weighing the latest situation and having secured some MPs supporting Anwar.
The current scenario now is the battle between Anwar and Dr Mahathir. Both can seek the King to allow them time to secure enough number of MPs to form the government.
At press time, situation remains unclear. The King may dissolve parliament and call for snap pool to resolve the hang parliament. A fresh election means everyone stands a chance but each of them is unsure if they can win. The battle between Anwar and Dr Mahathir is the same. Both sides have potential number of MPs to work with them but are not sure how many people can they convince.
Nevertheless, Malaysians hope that the political mess should be resolved as soon as possible. The future of the country and economic development should not be hampered by politics.

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