KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18 — Datuk Puad Zarkashi, an Umno supreme council member, said today the idea of appointing Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as “mentor minister” could be an attempt by Bersatu leaders to rule by proxy.
The Agong is expected to name Muhyiddin’s successor today after calling on all MPs to nominate a candidate via a statutory declaration.
“His Majesty has decreed that the new prime minister form a unity government. The point is to reduce politicking. All parties will share responsibility and be included,” the Umno leader posted on Facebook.
“So don’t turn this new government into a proxy government. There are invisible hands behind it. There’s no need to propose a mentor minister (post),” he added.
News portal Malaysiakini, citing a source from Bersatu, reported earlier today that political negotiations to appoint a new prime minister had included a proposal to make Muhyiddin a mentor minister.
Bersatu is also set to back its secretary-general Hamzah Zainuddin to be Ismail Sabri’s deputy prime minister candidate, according to the same source.
Puad said that making Muhyiddin a minister was akin to putting the same Perikatan Nasional coalition in power.
“We don’t want a PN 2.0 in power. (We want) a really new government,” he wrote.
Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob are seen as the main contenders to be the ninth prime minister of Malaysia.
Muhyiddin resigned as the eighth prime minister two days ago amid mounting anger over his government’s pandemic response.
The Pagoh MP and Bersatu president lost majority support in Parliament’s Lower House after 15 Umno federal lawmakers withdrew their support.