[LIVE UPDATE] A New State Government Is Born In Johor Amidst Political Crisis

Here are all the important highlights as Malaysia enters the fifth day of political turmoil.

Cover image via theSundaily

27 February

About 3.40pm: Dr Mahathir has returned as Bersatu chairman

In a WhatsApp message to Bernama, Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Marzuki Yahya confirmed that interim Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir has returned to Bersatu as the party's chairman.

On Monday, 24 February, the party with 26 MPs left the PH coalition, which led to the collapse of the government. Bersatu's departure from PH came after Tun Dr Mahathir resigned from his role as the Prime Minister and the party's chairman.

However, Bersatu leaders rejected his resignation and urged him to return.

Around 2pm: Johor has replaced its state government amidst the federal government limbo

Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar.

Image via Royal Press Office via Berita Harian

The Johor Pakatan Harapan government has fallen after it lost its majority in the southern state, reported Malaysiakini in a live report.

In a statement published on Sultan of Johor Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar's Facebook page, a new state coalition, dubbed as Gabungan Baharu, has been formed with several State Legislative Assembly representatives (ADUNs).

Together, they have acquired a simple majority to form the new state government.

The announcement came after Sultan Ibrahim interviewed 54 of the 56 assemblypersons yesterday. They were asked to choose between Pakatan Harapan and Gabungan Baharu.

The two ADUNs who failed to show up were Amanah deputy president Salahuddin Ayub and Johor Bersatu chief Mazlan Bujang.

As a result, Gabungan Bahru came out on top with the support of 28 ADUNs, while the remaining 26 voted for Pakatan Harapan.

Prior to this, PH held 39 seats in Johor - DAP (14), Bersatu (11), Amanah (9), and PKR (5). The remaining 17 seats were held by UMNO (14), MIC (2), and PAS (1), reported Malay Mail.

Around 12pm: Annuar Musa denies UMNO and PAS have nominated Muhyiddin as PM

PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man.

Image via Astro Awani

Earlier this morning, a report by an English daily report quoted PAS deputy president Datuk Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man as saying that all MPs from UMNO and PAS have signed a statutory declaration (SD) to back former Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as the eighth Prime Minister.

"When Dr Mahathir announced his resignation and refused to accept positions, Muafakat Nasional signed an SD for Muhyiddin," said Tuan Ibrahim.

"But if there isn't a clear (Parliament) majority, we propose for Parliament to be dissolved."

However, in a tweet at 11.48am, Annuar Musa denies the claim.

"[An English daily] reported that UMNO and PAS have agreed to name Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin as Prime Minister is NOT TRUE," Annuar tweets.

"Our stand remains that we want Parliament to be dissolved."

He adds that any official statements can only be made by party presidents or YDPA at this juncture.

26 February

Around 7pm: Yeo Bee Yin says PH no longer backs Dr M and nominates Anwar as PM

Former Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change Minister Yeo Bee Yin.

Image via Rasul Azli Samad/New Straits Times

PH is the next group to retract their support for interim Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir following UMNO and PAS' decision today.

In a Facebook statement, DAP assistant national publicity secretary Yeo Bee Yin says PH rejects Dr Mahathir's idea to form a "unity government of individuals".

According to her, such a move will allow Dr Mahathir to choose candidates for the Cabinet and PH will not be consulted in the process.

"In addition, the proposed Cabinet from Tun will likely include the same personalities who triggered the current crisis, as well as MPs from UMNO and PAS," explains Yeo.

"Effectively, it is a Tun government and not a PH government. The promises of the PH manifesto will not be fulfilled."

She adds that Dr Mahathir failed to attend the PH presidential council meeting to discuss the issue. In view of that, she said PH has now nominated Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as the eighth Prime Minister.

A Malay Mail report cited an aide to Yeo as saying that the former Energy, Science, Technology, Environment, and Climate Change Minister's statement is in agreement with other DAP MPs.

Tuesday, 25 February

Around 3pm: Police are ready for the protest at Dataran Merdeka tonight

After receiving word that there will be a protest at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur tonight at 8.30pm, the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) say that they will deploy sufficient police officers to the scene to safeguard public's safety, reported The Star.

In a poster sighted by Sin Chew Daily, the demonstration is called 'Demokrasi Mati, Ayuh Turun ke Jalan' (Democracy is Dead, Let's Go to The Streets).

It goes on to say, "Rakyat, stand up. Our future is not in the hands of politikus (corrupted leaders)."

In response, Dang Wangi District Assistant Commissioner Mohd Fahmi Visuvanathan Abdullah says, "We have not received any notice from the organisers of the protest. However, police personnel will be on standby to ensure the safety and security of all."

He also advised the public to remain calm and do not break the law.

Image via Sin Chew Daily

1.10pm: Agong personally hands out McDonald's to media outside of Istana Negara

After handing out KFC to reporters stationed outside Istana Negara yesterday, 24 February, YDPA decides to repeat the good deed by handing out McDonald's today, 25 February.

The Agong hands out bags and boxes of McDonald's to media working under the hot sun. He even takes one French fry for himself.

In a short statement, the Agong tells the rakyat to be patient amidst the political turmoil.

"I hope we will find the best solution for the country," the Agong says.

You can read the full story here.

12.30pm: Agong will interview MPs one by one over two days to determine which coalition will be the ruling government

Simpang Renggam MP Dr Maszlee Malik arriving at Istana Negara today, 25 February.

Image via Hairul Anuar Rahim/New Straits Times

According to New Straits Times, YDPA will interview 90 MPs today, 25 February, and the rest of the 131 MPs on the following day, 26 February.

Each MP will be interviewed for two to three minutes each to help the Agong determine who will be the next Prime Minister as well as the ruling coalition, says the Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin.

It is the first time Malaysia has used such a method to resolve a political divide.

"The personal interview will be done by His Majesty, and witnessed by Chief Secretary to the government Datuk Seri Zuki Mohd Ali," says Ahmad Fadil.

The interviews today are expected to end by 7pm.

Ahmad Fadil adds that the process will be done under Article 43(2) of the Federal Constitution.

Around 11am: Annuar Musa says UMNO has enough numbers to form a government

Malay Mail reported UMNO secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa as saying that UMNO has formed a coalition with other parties and that the group is going to meet at Istana Negara later.

It is believed that they have secured an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah at 11am and 2pm.

This comes after MIC leader M Saravanan expressed his confidence that Barisan Nasional can form a new government together with the inclusion of former PKR MPs and the pro-UMNO faction of Bersatu.

The news portal also cited a Harian Metro article, which reported PAS secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan as saying that his "side" has gathered a total of 129 MPs' support - enough seats in the Dewan Rakyat to form a government.

The new coalition could be the next government, which consists of UMNO, PAS, Bersatu, Warisan, MPs loyal to Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, and Gabungan Parti Sarawak.

You can read the full story here.

Did you miss out on anything? Here is a summary of all the developments up until yesterday, 24 February:

Meanwhile, MPs loyal to Azmin Ali said they left PKR because they were trying to protect Dr Mahathir from being ousted:

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