Confidence vote will be easy for Anwar, experts say
SHAH ALAM - The notion that Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) have put national interest above party, would mean a confidence vote in parliament would be an easy slide for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, National Council of Professors (NCP) senior fellow Prof Datuk Dr Jeniri Amir said today.
Dr Jeniri said the support of BN members of parliament gave Anwar a significant advantage, while BN chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is expected to be able to convince all 30 of his MPs pull their support behind the PH chairman in the name of stability and for the unity government to begin functioning.
A vote of confidence will be the first item on the agenda when the current session holds its first sitting on Dec 19, after the unity government was formed following the 15th general elections (GE15) on Nov 19.
"There is an advantage to having the support from BN it provides stability to the government with 30 MPs making up the majority, as initially Anwar could not have become Prime Minister,” he said, adding that Anwar should have no problem receiving the required numbers in support from MPs to legitimise his position as Prime Minister.
Jeniri said although many have expressed concern over whether Zahid would be able to convince BN MPs to pull together and provide support en bloc, it wasn't a matter to be overly worried about.
“This is not about how Zahid can ensure their support, but it’s whether the MPs themselves give support to the unity government. If they do not, then they would be going against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah whose decree is by which the unity government was formed,” he said.
Meanwhile, political analyst and Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) lecturer Associate Professor Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani echoed Dr Jeniri's views on Anwar having sufficient support to validate his position in the Dewan Rakyat, stating that it would be too risky for any MPs in the ruling coalition to show that they were not in line with their party's decision to support Anwar.
“I also believe Zahid’s team will be included in the formation of the Cabinet. However, I am not sure former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri will accept a less desirable job as minister,” he said.
He further added that in the formation of the Cabinet, things could be different for the faction of BN MPs who have been known to support PN.
"They will likely not feature in the Cabinet," he said.
Following a GE15 stalemate with no party securing the simple majority of 112 seats required to form the government, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had decreed that political parties put their differences aside to form a unity government in order to tackle the increasingly pressing economic issues that are affecting the people.
PH, who held 82 seats, alongside BN with 30 seats, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) with 23 seats formed the three main blocks which agreed to the royal decree, while Perikatan Nasional (PN) who had the second highest numbers with 73 seats had disagreed.
Upon the agreement, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in agreement with the Council of Malay Rulers, appointed Anwar as the 10th Prime Minister last Thursday, upon which the unity government was formed and grew in support with other parties such as Warisan, Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), along with independent MPS joining in to bolster the government with a stronger majority of at least 145 seats.