KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) communications director Fahmi Fadzil said on Monday (Oct 26) that the onus is on Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to reach across the political divide and enhance political stability in the lead up to the budget debate.
“As someone who has lost a great deal of political capital, it’s still not too late to reach out. He should do the honourable thing. The honourable thing any person in his position would do,” Mr Fahmi told CNA.
The Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament said the opposition would honour the advice by the king to “stop politicking”, while adding that the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition could review “new configurations”.
He added: “We have sworn an oath of office to protect and uphold the Federal Constitution. It is important that the principles of governance and reforms are adhered to. We will not compromise on this.
“Having said that, the situation now is extremely fluid and I cannot put down precisely on what is next. The reconfiguration or new configurations to some extent needs to address the issues of political stability and make sure the policies of the government are not only adhered to but with COVID-19, also implemented well.”
On Sunday, King Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah said that there is no need to declare a state of emergency in Malaysia at this time, in response to suggestions put forward by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin regarding the COVID-19 situation.
“His Majesty would like to remind politicians to immediately stop all politicking that could disrupt the stability of the government," said a statement issued by Istana Negara.
The Malaysian parliament is set to reconvene on Nov 2, with the tabling of next year's budget on Nov 6.
The prime minister had gone to Pahang last Friday to meet the king after he had a special Cabinet meeting in the morning. Rumours were rife that a state of emergency would be called.
In response to the statement by the king, PKR’s leader Anwar Ibrahim said late Sunday that he appreciated the royal decision to not comply with the suggestion of the prime minister.
“The historical decision and resolution by the king to reject the proposal of the prime minister and his Cabinet ministers to declare an emergency clearly strengthens the system of a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy.”
“I have also taken the advice of the king that politicians - including parliamentarians - should not be excessively politicking,” said Mr Anwar.
On Oct 13, Mr Anwar had an audience with the king after making claims that he had the parliamentary majority and that Mr Muhyiddin’s government “has fallen”.
READ: Commentary - Why Anwar Ibrahim’s longheld dream of becoming Malaysia PM keeps getting thwarted
Separately, a Malaysian media report on Monday quoted the Democratic Action Party’s (DAP) organising secretary Anthony Loke as saying that his party is willing to negotiate with the ruling government.
The report also stated that the PH presidential council had agreed to the plan.
When asked by CNA, Mr Loke said that the decision was not official yet.
“We have not had an official meeting. All I am saying is that Pakatan Harapan has agreed to talk to the government. The Pakatan Harapan coalition is open for negotiations,” he said.
Meanwhile, DAP’s strategic director Liew Chin Tong wrote in a blog post entry: “To reset the scene, Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should make Parliament the avenue for genuine cooperation, consultation and co-governing with the opposition for the greater good of the nation in this time of COVID-19 crisis.”
Mr Liew, who is a senator, called on the prime minister to remove Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin and International Trade and Industries minister Azmin Ali from the Cabinet.
“To foster goodwill for bipartisanship, Muhyiddin should ask Hamzah Zainuddin and Azmin Ali to resign to take responsibility for wrongly advising the king and also for creating the toxic political atmosphere that led to the Cabinet decision of pushing for emergency rule.”
He added that the ruling government need not treat the opposition as the enemy of the state.
“With equal treatment of opposition MPs, treating them as equals to backbenchers in terms of resources and access to provide policy inputs, with a Confidence and Supply Agreement in place, the Muhyiddin government has an opportunity to turn the crisis into the new birth of Malaysian parliamentary democracy.”