By INS Contributors

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan alluded to a season to buy off more opposition MPs as an increasingly desperate Perikatan Nasional (PN) government led by embattled Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin struggles to hold onto power.

Musim Durian Sehingga September?

Yang ada masalah, disucikan.
Yang tidak dapat jumpa masalah, ditawarkan laba.
Berapa banyak lagi laporan sebegini bakal dibuat antara hari ini dan hari undi percaya?
Mungkinkah harga durian juga akan meningkat? Demand tinggi, supply rendah, masa suntuk.

(Durian Season Until September?

For those with a problem, (they) will be cleared.
For those where there is no fault, they were offered a profit.
How many more reports like this will be made between today and the day of the vote of confidence?
Is it possible that the price of durian will also increase? High demand, low supply, and short of time.)

The comment by Shahril comes after reports that several opposition MPs had allegedly been offered inducements amounting to millions of ringgit to support Muhyiddin, whose majority is in doubt following the withdrawal of support by several UMNO MPs, his biggest bloc of supporters.

Those receiving such offers include Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran, Kota Melaka MP Khoo Poay Tiong and Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii who are all from DAP.  

Sharing the messages, Khoo said an unknown number had contacted him and pointed out that there were two ministers positions vacant now.

This was after Noraini Ahmad resigned as the higher education minister and Shamsul Anuar Nasarah quit as energy and natural resources minister, citing the need to abide by the Umno supreme council's decision to leave the PN government.

Last year, following the takeover of federal power by Muhyiddin, an audio recording purportedly of the Prime Minister was circulated, allegedly offering enticements to UMNO MPs to support him.

The recording was purportedly made at the PPBM Supreme Council meeting on Feb 23, a day before Dr Mahathir Mohamad resigned as prime minister and as chairman of PPBM, causing the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.

According to the recording, Muhyiddin had encouraged PPBM leaders to try to convince Umno MPs to switch sides. PPBM would have been the largest Malay party in the government if they succeeded, he purportedly said.

Muhyiddin is expected to face a vote of no confidence in September to test his majority, but critics have pointed out that his government has already collapsed considering that he has the support of less than half the  MPs.