Amanah unhappy with ‘no court cluster’ condition in PN’s support for Ismail
An Amanah leader has spoken strongly against the “no court cluster” condition imposed by Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Muhyiddin Yassin in exchange for the coalition’s endorsement of Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the next prime minister.
Amanah vice-president Mahfuz Omar, who is also the Pokok Sena MP, said such conditional support was tantamount to blackmail by PN.
“Therefore, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong must seek a new process that will ensure that the next PM is someone who is not afraid of internal political blackmail… and is not tied to his own party’s political interests,” Mahfuz said, hours after Muhyiddin confirmed PN’s support for Ismail.
Muhyiddin said his coalition’s support for Ismail was on the condition that the new Cabinet would not include those who are facing criminal charges in court, a reference to Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, former leader Najib Razak and several MPs known as the “court cluster”.
“If appointed as prime minister by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, he must ensure that his Cabinet members will be composed of those with integrity, who are trustworthy and who are free from any criminal charges in court,” said Muhyiddin, who had said that he was forced out of office for not entertaining a group of “kleptocrats” scheming to escape corruption charges.
Ismail was among the Umno leaders and Cabinet members who had refused to join Najib and Zahid in campaigning for Muhyiddin’s ouster by revoking their support for him.
The Umno vice-president is said to have received support from 114 MPs comprising those from his party as well as from PN, GPS and several independents.
Mahfuz said PN’s condition was also against a letter from the Dewan Rakyat speaker, in which MPs were told to state clearly their choice of prime minister without any reservations.
“I believe that with the conditions and threats from PN to Ismail, Malaysia is sliding to a Mafia-style politics of blackmail,” he added.