Analyst: “Pakatan losing two-thirds majority is Syed Saddiq’s way of twisting unity govt’s arm”

MUDA president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman’s move to withdraw his support for the unity government to form a “third force” in the opposition bloc has left the unity government a seat short of a two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

Speaking to Berita Harian, legal and constitutional expert Prof Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmood said Syed Saddiq pulling his party out of the government bloc presents a big obstacle for the government especially when it comes to passing any amendment to the Federal Constitution in the future.

He said Syed Saddiq’s actions were seen as a certain strategic plan to garner support from the unity government, which was seen to be ignoring some of the party’s requests.

“Now that Syed Saddiq supports the opposition, it is a way to threaten or twist the government’s arm so that Pakatan Harapan (PH) accepts Muda or even gives more concessions to the party in the unity government,” he told the Malay news portal.

Nik Ahmad was commenting on Syed Saddiq’s official announcement on Sunday (Sept 10) that he will no longer be part of the Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim-led Madani government.

In a video, Syed Saddiq said the government’s move to drop the 47 corruption charges against Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had made it difficult for Muda to remain with the government.

He also said the discharge not amounting to acquittal (DNAA) granted to Zahid is the start of “normalising corruption” and that this had made it difficult for Muda to remain with the government.

The unity government, which was formed through the cooperation of 14 political parties, currently has 147 MPs out of 222 parliamentary seats, which is one less seat to become a two-thirds majority (148 seats).

The opposition now has 74 seats, including one seat through Syed Saddiq.

Muda in the previous 15th general election (GE15) had contested using its own logo in five parliamentary seats, namely for the Kepala Batas (Penang), Tanjong Karang (Selangor), Muar and Tanjung Piai (Johor) and Kota Marudu (Sabah) but only won the Muar seat.

Nik Ahmad Kamal also did not rule out the possibility that Syed Saddiq withdrawing Muda’s support is indeed because the youth-based party really wants the unity government to study the current decisions and policies related to the court cases that government leaders are currently facing. – Sept 12, 2023

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