Vehicles believed to be ferrying Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun and Election Commission chairman Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh were seen entering the Istana Negara this morning.
The two black Toyota Vellfire MPVs were seen entering the palace gates at around 10.45am escorted by police outriders for their expected audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at 11am today.
About half an hour later, a convoy escorting a black SUV believed to be ferrying Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani was also seen entering the Istana.
The audience for these heads of agencies and bodies are expected to run before Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s audience before the King, scheduled for noon today.
State Democratic Action Party (DAP) chief Chong Chieng Jen said today that the entire Perikatan Nasional (PN) Cabinet has to resign in the event that Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin tenders his resignation tomorrow.
The Stampin MP did not offer comments on news reports that Muhyiddin will step down as the prime minister but gave a ‘Yes’ when asked if the Cabinet should resign following Muhyiddin’s resignation.
In a statement yesterday, Chong said: “The main reason underlying the call for his (Muhyiddin’s) resignation is his failure and that of his Cabinet’s failure to properly manage the Covid-19 pandemic.”
The Kota Sentosa assemblyman opined that people had given up any hope on the PN government saving the country and the people.
“That is why most Malaysians now want a new prime minister and a new Cabinet to run this country,” he said.
Chong asserted that Malaysia must focus on managing the pandemic to reduce the infection rate and fatalities as well as to revive the country’s economy.
“Top priority should be the lives of the people, the sufferings caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, the hunger due to lack of income, and the businesses at the brink of closing down cannot wait any longer.”
It has been reported that Muhyiddin is expected to tender his resignation during an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong tomorrow.
It is widely speculated that Muhyiddin is stepping down as the prime minister in light of the loss of majority support from the Dewan Rakyat for his initiatives involving Parliamentary reforms announced on Friday.
On Friday, the prime minister expressed his willingness to work with parties outside of the PN government following a scheduled vote of confidence in Parliament.
He said in a special address that after the confidence vote was done, there would be a more stable and inclusive government that recognised bipartisan input in managing the Covid-19 pandemic.
After Muhyiddin’s address, many opposition MPs rejected his bipartisan cooperation offer, lamenting that he was only reaching out to them because his majority support in Parliament is in doubt.
A series of U-turns by Umno MPs aligned to the present administration appears to be drawing the curtains on Muhyiddin Yassin’s tenure as the country’s eighth prime minister.
Speaking to FMT, several Umno and Bersatu sources said they are expecting Muhyiddin to announce his resignation soon.
“The resignation letter is ready, but we are not sure when he will make the announcement,” said one source on condition of anonymity.
Muhyiddin’s circumstances looked bleak yesterday when opposition parties and Umno rejected his proposal for reforms and a more inclusive administration in exchange for support in September’s parliamentary vote of confidence.
But things went from bad to worse as those in the Cabinet, including Umno and PAS ministers, voiced disapproval for the proposal that had apparently “caught them by surprise”.
Now, it is learnt that some Umno and PAS ministers are already looking at ways to make a face-saving U-turn.
“The mood has been sombre, and a lot of discussions have been taking place since yesterday, but since we lack majority support, the best way out of this mess may be for Muhyiddin to resign.”
Another government source said some Cabinet ministers have already “packed up” in anticipation of Muhyiddin’s resignation.
“My minister packed up his office yesterday. I’m told another minister has also finished packing,” said one official on condition of anonymity.
Aides to two other ministers also told FMT they had been instructed to clear their offices by Aug 18.
Meanwhile, a senior Bersatu leader said the situation was “bad”.
“The PM’s proposal has put PAS and Umno MPs who remained loyal to him in a difficult spot.
“It’s a lost cause for the PM but not Perikatan Nasional. Perhaps another PM can salvage the situation if it gets Umno’s support.”
It is also understood that several Umno ministers have already voiced their regret over defying the party’s orders following the PM’s proposal.
However, one insider close to the prime minister’s camp said Muhyiddin had no plans to resign as he wanted to run the country till the next general election (GE15).
“It is true what he said, that he wanted to ensure continuing, especially in ensuring the vaccination programme is run smoothly. But if MPs don’t want to support him, there is nothing much we can do,” he added.
“However, we are still open to talks,” he added.