More Malaysia Opposition Lawmakers to Support Government: Star

More Malaysian opposition lawmakers are expected to join defectors from their parties and declare support for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s ruling coalition government, the Star cited Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa as saying.

Annuar said seven or eight more opposition members may defect to the Perikatan Nasional government soon because of the government’s efficient performance in tackling the Covid-19 pandemic, according to the report.

An opposition party led by Anwar Ibrahim lost its vice president, Xavier Jayakumar, who quit on Saturday after more than two decades with the group. He said in a statement he’s backing the government as an independent as it needs bipartisan support to help overcome the pandemic. He was the third member from the People’s Justice Party to leave in recent weeks.

Muhyiddin is gearing up for an election that he said will be called as soon as the pandemic is brought under control. Malaysia declared a state of emergency on Jan. 13, a move which suspended parliament. The prime minister rose to power a year ago by cobbling together a razor-thin majority with his rival-turned-allies after his predecessor, Mahathir Mohamad, abruptly quit.

The government, which earlier lost support from three United Malays National Organisation lawmakers, now has the backing of 112 of 222 legislators, the Star said in a separate report. That’s enough for the government to command a majority in parliament.

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