A political race that’s too close to call

Assoc Prof Dr Neilson Ilan Mersat

KUCHING: Political analyst, Associate Professor Dr Neilson Ilan Mersat, says the withdrawal of one or two support does not necessary mean that Perikatan Nasional (PN) is on the way out.

The country’s political circles are contemplating what’s next for the PN-led federal government following the withdrawal of Machang MP Datuk Ahmad Jazlan Yaakob’s support.

“We have to bear in mind that Malaysian politics is a race that is a bit too close to make the call. We must remember that even if there is withdrawal of one or two, it needs a two-thirds majority. 

“Let’s say if Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin falls, who’s going to take over? Parti Pejuang Tanah Air under Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad does not have the numbers and would Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) work together? That will be another issue,” he told New Sarawak Tribune over the phone.

Given the fluidity in the country’s political arena, he said that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong ultimately had the power to advise the Prime Minister to step down or call for a new election.

Assoc Prof Ilan added that if matters were to escalate, it should be done according to the constitution and in a proper manner.

“If they are scared of a forthcoming election, they cannot use that to declare a state of emergency. I don’t think it is healthy for democracy if the state of emergency is set in motion due to political reasons.

“It has a lot of implications, especially on our country’s image at international level. Only His Majesty has the power to declare a state of emergency, the ball is at his feet and it’s up to him to make the decision.”