Anwar files no-confidence motion, Zahid urges Muhyiddin to resign after Malaysian king remarks on emergency laws
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim has filed a motion of no confidence at the parliament, while the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) called for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to resign.
The latest development came as the king reprimanded the government for revoking the emergency ordinances without his consent on Thursday (Jul 29).
Mr Anwar's motion read: "That the house makes a resolution on its loss of confidence in Mahiaddin Md Yasin, the MP for Pagoh, and be impeached from his position as prime minister as soon as possible according to the Federal Constitution."
Mahiaddin Md Yasin is the prime minister's official name, although he is popularly known as Muhyiddin Yassin.
Mr Anwar, the Port Dickson MP, said in a press conference in the parliament that the prime minister, de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan and Lower House Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun should resign from their positions.
"We leave it to the king's discretion to decide what is best to save this country from the present crisis," he added.
Mr Anwar lamented that as soon as his motion was accepted by the speaker at the parliament on Thursday, a recess was announced. "How can we run parliament with all these tricks and schemes?" he said.
Mr Takiyuddin had earlier announced on Monday that the months-long state of emergency will not be extended beyond Aug 1, adding that the six emergency ordinances had been revoked and annulled by the government on Jul 21.
Opposition politicians had pressed the minister on whether the king had consented to the revocation, but Mr Takiyuddin said he would answer related questions next Monday.
However, the national palace said on Thursday that King Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah did not give consent to revoke the COVID-19 emergency ordinances. The king described the minister's statement in the parliament as "contradictory and misleading".
"His Majesty stressed that the minister's statement in the parliament on Jul 26 is not accurate and has misled the MPs," the statement added.
READ: More than 17,000 new COVID-19 cases in Malaysia for second straight day, ICU numbers hit another high
In a statement, UMNO president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the party regretted the government's actions of going against the king's decree, which intended for all emergency ordinances to be debated and annulled in the parliament.
"Even more regrettable when the king himself exposed that the revocation of the emergency ordinances, as announced by the law minister on Monday in parliament, was extremely misleading, as the reality was that they had not gotten the king’s consent.
"This action clearly is a treacherous action against His Majesty, and diminishes the principle of the Federal Constitution.
"In line with this, UMNO will ask Mahiaddin Md Yasin and Takiyuddin Hassan to resign honorably," he said.
Ahmad Zahid added that UMNO MPs must fulfil and carry out the decision of the party's supreme council on Jul 7 to pull support for Mr Muhyiddin as prime minister.
Former prime minister and Pejuang party leader Mahathir Mohamad said the king’s remarks showed that Mr Muhyiddin has “deliberately lied to parliament” on the revocation of the emergency ordinances.
He noted that Mr Muhyiddin must have known he has no power to revoke the ordinances on his own. Although the law minister had made the announcement, the prime minister made no attempt to correct it or issue any clarification, said Dr Mahathir.
“Tan Sri Mahiaddin is therefore responsible for this shameful act as also the rest of the Cabinet members. Therefore, it is incumbent upon him to resign as prime minister and his Cabinet members must follow suit.”
ISMAIL SABRI SAYS GOVERNMENT IS STILL BACKED BY OVER 100 LAWMAKERS
Deputy Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the unstable political situation could jeopardise efforts to solve Malaysia’s economic problems and fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I wish to stress that the government still has the support of over 110 MPs,” he said.
“As such, I hope the people remain calm in facing the current situation and together we pray that the political turmoil will end quickly.”
The current five-day special parliamentary meeting, which kicked off on Monday, was to pave the way for an eventual hybrid parliament sitting.
It is the first time that lawmakers are gathering in Dewan Rakyat after a state of emergency was declared in January.
During the meeting, Mr Muhyiddin and other ministers were scheduled to brief the parliamentarians on the government's COVID-19 response and recovery plans.
Following the briefings, members of parliament were allowed to seek clarifications and give their views, ending with the ministers answering the issues raised by them.
On Thursday afternoon, the parliament building went into lockdown after it was announced that two COVID-19 cases were detected there. All lawmakers were made to undergo screening while the proceedings were postponed.
The parliament meeting was later adjourned at 5.15pm when Deputy Speaker Mohd Rashid Hasnon said two more COVID-19 cases were detected. It will resume next Monday.