Umno’s Annuar Musa: No need to think of PM replacement now, let’s have GE after Covid-19 eases

(MMO) – Umno’s senior leader Tan Sri Annuar Musa today said there is no need to think of changing prime ministers now and that Malaysia should hold a general election to let voters decide when the Covid-19 situation in the country becomes less serious.

Annuar, who is an Umno supreme council member, said this while commenting on a news report on Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang) on October 17 nominating its party chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a candidate to replace Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister.

In response, Annuar took to Twitter to say: “No need to think of a replacement for now…We are in consensus, help the government. When corvid19 eases, immediately dissolve Parliament and leave it to the public. USA has even more corvid19 cases and they too have elections. Give chance for PM to save the country and the public’s lives first. I believe PM will leave it to the public.”

Prior to this tweet, Annuar who is also secretary-general of Barisan Nasional, said that Covid-19 should not hamper elections from happening.

In a separate tweet, Annuar said a mechanism to hold the upcoming Batu Sapi by-election without close contact should be identified, and alternatively proposed that the by-election be postponed.

As for the general election, however, Annuar said practices in line with the new normal amid Covid-19 were needed, suggesting that general elections can be held with campaigns done virtually or online, further saying that general elections are not necessarily hampered by Covid-19 with efforts to control the situation.

While Annuar had voiced support for a general election to be held, the 15th general election is only due in 2023. General elections can, however, also be held earlier before the five-year term is up.

The Election Commission recently announced that the Batu Sapi by-election would be held on December 5 with a proposed set of new standard operating procedures to prevent Covid-19 infections from spreading.

The federal seat of Batu Sapi fell vacant after its incumbent and former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of law Datuk Liew Vui Keong passed away on October 2, after contracting pneumonia while being treated for a slipped disc.

As for Muhyiddin who is currently prime minister and leader of the Perikatan Nasional government, he is being challenged by PKR president and Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who on September 23 claimed to have the backing of over 120 of the 222 MPs, enough to form a new government.

Other challenges have also arisen with Umno on October 13 saying it was considering the withdrawal of support for Muhyiddin’s Perikatan Nasional alliance, while Umno advisory board chairman and MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was on October 14 reported to have previously voiced his support for a no-confidence motion to be tabled and debated in Parliament against Muhyiddin

Dr Mahathir reportedly confirmed that all five MPs in Pejuang — including himself — have filed separate no-confidence motions against Muhyiddin for the upcoming Dewan Rakyat meeting, while MPs from opposition party Parti Amanah Negara were reported to be also planning to submit their no-confidence motions.

The Dewan Rakyat will sit from November 2 to December 15 for its next meeting, with Budget 2021 expected to be tabled on November 6.