Continuous change in the political landscape means a Malay PM post not guaranteed, says Muhyiddin

KUALA LUMPUR: There is no guarantee that only a Malay could become prime minister following the continuous change in the country's political landscape.

Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said this was apparent, particularly during the 15th General Election (GE15), which saw a hung parliament and no party managed to obtain a simple majority in forming the government.

Following this, Muhyiddin, who is also the former prime minister said the situation had also led to negotiations taking place between political parties about forming a government and choosing the prime minister's candidate.

The Pagoh member of parliament also mentioned that with the enactment of the anti-hopping law, elected representatives were also tied to party decisions.

"If the party leader decides to support a non-Malay prime minister in the future for whatever reason, the MP must comply, otherwise, they risk losing their membership, being forced to vacate their seats and facing compensation worth millions of ringgit.

"Hence, the Malays cannot do anything if a non-Malay becomes prime minister, even if it is against their wishes.

"(And) while this system (of democracy) guarantees that Malays can be the prime minister in the past, the guarantee no longer exists with the rapid political changes happening in our country," he said in a statement, today.

At the same time, Muhyiddin acknowledged that Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution stated that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall appoint a prime minister who is likely to have the majority support from the members of parliament.

There was also no mention of race, religion or gender that stipulate only Malays can become the prime minister.

Following this, Muhyiddin said throughout Malaysia's 66 years of independence, there was no question of whether a non-Malay could be the prime minister.

He said this was mainly due to the power-sharing concept among races that was practised by Barisan Nasional (BN), which allowed the Malay majority party Umno to consistently gain a clear mandate from the people in each election.

"This happened in all 13 general elections in the country. However, a significant change occurred in the GE14 when BN lost and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the then chairman of Pakatan Harapan (PH) was appointed prime minister.

"Umno, which was once dominant, has become a small party in an alliance led by DAP and they are forced to follow whatever is demanded by DAP.

"Umno's history of defending the rights of Malays has been reversed by its leaders today and self-interest takes precedence over the interests of religion, race, and country.

"Hence, God willing, PN will continue to defend the rights and interests of Malays and Bumiputeras as well as the legitimate interests of all races as outlined in the constitution."

Yesterday, Parti Pribumi Bersatu (Bersatu) Youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal challenged Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to amend the Federal Constitution to ensure that only Malays can become the prime minister.

Wan Ahmad Fayhsal's proposal comes after DAP stalwart Tan Sri Lim Kit Siang said that the constitution does not prevent any non-Malay from becoming prime minister.

However, Anwar, today stressed that there is no need to make amendments to the constitution in order to ensure a prime minister's role can only be held by a Malay.

He said that despite the current status quo of the constitution, the position has always been held by those from Malay ethnicity.

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