Abang Johari

KUCHING: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg is unperturbed despite the narrow majority attained by the Perikatan Nasional (PN) federal government in changing the Speaker in the Parliament yesterday.

He said a narrow majority was still a majority and it signified that Prime Minister Tan Muhyiddin Yassin had the numbers in Parliament despite numerous assertions by opposition parties.

“On the voting today, that is a sign of a majority even though it is only 111 MPs, but it is more compared to 109 MPs. One of the ministers did not attend the sitting. It could have been 112MPs.

“If we take that, it means that this is not a backdoor government as it commands a majority in Parliament. So, whatever you say, even it is only by one, two or three MPs, it is still a majority,” said Abang Johari.

He stated that when asked during an exclusive interview with New Sarawak Tribune at his office at Wisma Bapa Malaysia today.

Abang Johari also said with the established majority, Prime Minster Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin would survive a vote of no confidence if a motion for it was moved in Parliament.

“Indirectly, the motion to change the Speaker can be seen as a vote of confidence for the prime minister. If the MPs do not trust the prime minister, they would beat his motion,” he said.

On Monday, Parliament approved a motion to remove Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof, with 111 yays to 109 nays.

From the 222 MPs in Parliament, two did not vote — Kota Marudu MP Datuk Seri Maximus Johnity Ongkili was absent for medical reasons while Deputy Speaker Datuk Rashid Hasnon presided over the meeting.

Muhyiddin moved the motion to remove Mohamad Ariff, in what was his first real test of legitimacy since helming the position.

Former Election Commission (EC) chairman Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun and Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said replaced incumbent Speaker Mohamad Ariff and his deputy Nga Kor Ming.