PETALING JAYA, Sept 24: A political analyst has voiced doubt that PKR president Anwar Ibrahim’s latest claim of having majority support in the Dewan Rakyat will lead to his becoming prime minister.
Kamarul Zaman Yusoff of Universiti Utara Malaysia told FMT he believed Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin would seek a dissolution of Parliament if Anwar were to prove that his government did not have the support of the majority of MPs.
There would be no guarantee of victory for the current opposition if fresh elections were held, he said.
Anwar, the opposition leader, announced yesterday that he had the numbers to form a new government.
He also said the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had granted him an audience, but this has been postponed because the king was admitted to the National Heart Institute on Monday.
Kamarul said Anwar would not have to seek a vote of no confidence in Muhyiddin’s government as a precedent was set when the king interviewed all MPs to find out on which side they stood during the political crisis in February.
But he also said he doubted that Anwar had enough support to form a new government.
“We don’t really know if Anwar has the numbers. Will Dr Mahathir Mohamad and those aligned to him support Anwar? Judging from Mahathir’s response to Anwar’s announcement, he sounds quite cynical.”
A news report yesterday quoted Mahathir as saying he would “wait and see” if Anwar had enough support. He also said this was not the first time he had made such a claim.
Kamarul said Mahathir also had influence over other MPs, including those in Warisan, who might not back Anwar as PM.
He said that it would be in Anwar’s best interest to release the names of those who had pledged to support him after submitting the names to the king.
“Anwar’s credibility will take a major hit if he cannot become PM because he has claimed many times that he has the numbers but cannot prove it,” he said.
Political scientist Chandra Muzaffar also said Anwar’s claim needed to be verified.
“He should show proof, show the names of MPs who support him. If he is not able to do that, I don’t think we need to pay much heed to his claim because he did this in 2008 when he said Barisan Nasional MPs would defect on Malaysia Day and they did not.”
Chandra said he believed Anwar had received some indication that a certain number of Umno leaders would back him and this would be enough owing to the prime minister’s thin majority in the Dewan Rakyat.
“We have to go for fresh elections, and I believe it will come to that,” he said. “If the government were to change hands without election, there would still be uncertainty.
“The political elites’ orchestrated game of musical chairs will continue and you can expect MPs to continue switching sides because many are proven party hoppers.”