Muhyiddin 'reluctantly' signed Istana Negara's proposed unity government agreement with PH, says senior aide

KUALA LUMPUR: Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had "reluctantly" signed a proposed unity government agreement with Pakatan Harapan (PH) presented by Istana Negara, which included the prime minister post being rotated, said an aide to the former prime minister.

Giving his account of events that unfolded before the government was formed, Marzuki Mohamad said his boss was asked to sign the agreement after he sought the permission of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to leave the palace and head home on Nov 22.

Muhyiddin, he said, was presented with the proposal of forming a unity government with PH, to which he had objected.

"He told the King that cooperation with PH was against the policy of PN and the people's mandate. Therefore, he could not agree with the proposal. This stance was also agreed to by Tan Sri Abdul Hadi Awang (Pas president) who was in the audience with the King.

"Muhyiddin was also told that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was also at Istana Negara and the plan after was to hold a discussion together. But because Muhyiddin had disagreed with the proposal, he had sought the consent of the King to leave the palace and return home.

"Before leaving, Muhyiddin was asked to sign the proposed unity government agreement with PH, which, among other things, detailed the rotation of the prime minister's post.

"He signed it but stated he had disagreed (with the agreement)," said Marzuki in a Facebook post.

Marzuki said he was initially certain that Muhyiddin would be called by the palace to take his oath as the 10th prime minister after PN submitted 115 statutory declarations (SD) from Dewan Rakyat members pledging their confidence for Muhyiddin to be prime minister.

However, during the audience, he said that Muhyiddin was told that he no longer had the support of the majority after 10 Barisan Nasional (BN) MPs had withdrawn their support.

"The BN chairman, had in turn, sent a letter to the King to say that 30 BN MPs had given their backing to Anwar as the prime minister. However, no SD was presented as stipulated by the palace.

"Anwar is said to have 86 SD supporting him as PM while Muhyiddin had 105 after 10 redrew their support. Because of doubts, Muhyiddin then suggested that the palace call the 10 BN MPs to ascertain their stance, and this was consented by the King.

"It was then Muhyiddin that was presented with the proposal to form a unity government with PH," said Marzuki.

However, on Thursday morning, Umno MPs agreed to form a unity government without PN but he was unsure if they had signed any SD to support Anwar as the PM, unlike what had been set for Muhyiddin, he said.

Marzuki said he had accepted the fact that Anwar was made the 10th PM after the Conference of Rulers special meeting on the formation of the government concluded later that day.

"Hopefully there will be no accusations that Muhyiddin was treasonous, arrogant and unwilling to negotiate.

"Hopefully, Anwar will conduct his duties with integrity and responsibly and uphold the trust of religion, race and country.

"We have done all we can according to the law and requirements of the Federal Constitution to complete the process of the 10th PM as set by Istana Negara.

"We surrender (to God) and in good faith, we accept this with an open heart," he said.

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