Muhyiddin wrong to say he must be consulted on dissolution, say analysts

“That he has had to tell the media that he expects to be consulted … this actually tells you that he is currently not being consulted.

(FMT) – Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Muhyiddin Yassin might have shot himself in the foot when he insisted that the coalition must be consulted before Parliament is dissolved, says an analyst.

“I think he made a mistake by announcing to the world that he wants to be consulted,” said James Chin of the University of Tasmania’s Asia Institute.

“That he has had to tell the media that he expects to be consulted … this actually tells you that he is currently not being consulted.

“This is a sign of (political) weakness rather than that of political strength. It is also a signal that the general election is coming up very soon.”

Muhyiddin posted a photo of himself yesterday breaking fast with Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and other PN leaders, saying he reminded Ismail that PN, as a main component in the formation of the federal government, must be consulted before any decision to dissolve Parliament, which would set the scene for the 15th general election (GE15).

Chin said the fact that the former prime minister had to publicly state that he expected to be consulted meant that there was “tremendous pressure” within Umno for Ismail to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament.

The next general election must be held before Parliament’s term expires in May 2023, and Umno leaders have been among those at the forefront calling for the polls to be held earlier after Barisan Nasional’s convincing wins in the recent Melaka and Johor elections.

Speculation has been rife that GE15 is likely to be called by the end of this year, with some predicting it will be held in four to six months.

However, PN and Pakatan Harapan have not been as vocal on the matter.

Akademi Nusantara senior fellow (strategic research) Azmi Hassan said Muhyiddin’s statement had made it clear that PN was not ready for GE15. He said Ismail was under no obligation to consult Muhyiddin on the date of Parliament’s dissolution.

“Not just the current prime minister, but also other prime ministers. They will decide, and then inform (other parties). Whether these parties would be consulted or not, I don’t think so.”

“Within the current political scenario, BN and PN are considered political enemies, so I don’t think Ismail will consult Muhyiddin,” he said.

The Muhyiddin administration fell last August after he lost the majority support of MPs following the decision by a group of Umno MPs led by party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to withdraw their backing for him.

They then threw their support behind Ismail.

Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs said that while PN and PH would like to see GE15 “later rather than sooner” for fear of suffering major electoral defeats, there was no guarantee that the coalitions would perform any better in the future.

“But ‘future’ implies hope,” said Oh, “and Muhyiddin can simply hold on to such hope.”