PETALING JAYA: Electoral reform group Bersih has welcomed Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s move to have his majority proven in Parliament.
Bersih chairman Thomas Fann described it as an important precedent to be set by any new prime minister following the Sheraton Move of 2020, which brought the fall of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government after 22 months in Putrajaya.
He said a confirmatory vote of confidence would put to rest any doubt people may have on the legitimacy of Anwar’s new government.
“It is especially important when an election or appointment is closely contested, such as the one we just had,” he told FMT.
He also said tabling the motion for the vote would be a risky move for Anwar, particularly when the PH chairman would need to rely on parties outside the coalition to prove his majority in the unity government.
“However, I believe that by then Anwar would have signed coalition agreements or confidence and supply agreements with the other blocs,” he said.
At a press conference yesterday, Anwar said the vote of confidence will be the first item on the agenda when Parliament convenes on Dec 19.
Analyst Awang Azman Pawi of Universiti Malaya said Anwar was likely to get the vote of confidence as his appointment had been endorsed by the King and the Conference of Rulers.
“Anwar has the upper hand and will enjoy the support of all coalitions that have backed PH as well as those who left it to the King to decide on the prime minister,” he said, adding that they were not likely to turn against the monarch’s decision.
He also said it would be a big blow to Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin if Anwar were to score the vote of confidence.
“This would cast a bad light on the PN chairman, who seems to be unable to move forward, even going as far as disputing the King,” he said.
Yesterday, Istana Negara said the King had consented to Anwar’s appointment as prime minister following discussions with the Malay rulers.
The King had initially asked PH and PN to form a unity government after the general election ended in a hung Parliament, but Muhyiddin said he turned this down as PN could not work with PH.
At a press conference held at PN’s headquarters, Muhyiddin insisted that he commanded the majority support of MPs to lead the government.
Calling on Anwar to prove that he had the support of the majority of MPs, Muhyiddin said he had 115 statutory declarations from MPs backing him for the top post.
(First published by Free Malaysia Today on 25 November 2022: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2022/11/25/bersih-hails-anwars-risky-vote-of-confidence-move/)