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PAS chief's remarks on toppling Anwar government stirs controversy, police probe under way

PAS chief's remarks on toppling Anwar government stirs controversy, police probe under way

Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) president Abdul Hadi Awang giving a speech at a religious gathering in Terengganu, Malaysia on Mar 4, 2023. (Photo: Facebook/Abdul Hadi Awang)

KUALA LUMPUR: Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) president Abdul Hadi Awang’s remarks that the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition will attempt to topple the government has stirred controversy, with the Malaysian police announcing that investigations will be conducted against him. 

According to a Bernama report on Thursday (Mar 9), Sentul district police chief Beh Eng Lai said that police received reports lodged by Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) and Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) Selangor youth wing the day before. 

“The case will be investigated by Bukit Aman's Classified Crime Investigation Unit,” he said at a press conference when asked about developments on the case. 

The reports lodged by the Pakatan Harapan (PH) component parties were in connection with Mr Abdul Hadi’s statement that PN and the opposition bloc were making plans to topple the unity government led by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.

The unity government comprises PH, Barisan Nasional, Gabungan Parti Sarawak and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah, among others. 

"It is very unbecoming of an MP to make a statement saying there are efforts by the opposition to topple the government," said Amanah exco member Fadhli Umar Aminolhuda after lodging the police report, according to The Star.  

"Such a statement will only lead to trouble and disrupt public order.”

On Tuesday, Amanah president Mohamad Sabu expressed concern that Mr Abdul Hadi’s remarks would drive away investors from the country. 

“When a big leader like (Abdul) Hadi Awang mentions (the desire to) change the government, (and) not through elections, it can scare and unsettle investors,” he said in a video posted on Facebook. 

“It is known … that the change of three prime ministers in a short time has affected the flow of investments to Malaysia.”

On Monday, local media reported Mr Abdul Hadi as saying that based on Malaysia’s democratic system, no one had the right to stop PN’s efforts to topple the government of the day. 

He said that such an attempt can be done either through a vote of no-confidence or via statutory declarations, according to Bernama. 

"This is normal in a democratic country (such as Malaysia),” he was quoted as saying by the New Straits Times (NST). 

He added that the king’s decree is not “the final word” to prevent change from happening in a democratic country. 

“We still uphold democracy based on our constitutional monarchy,” he reportedly said. 

He had previously cautioned the government against blaming the opposition if the government collapses again, saying that the blame should be placed on the government’s own flaws and weaknesses instead. 

Last year, Mr Abdul Hadi reportedly said that he had initiated the “Sheraton Move” which saw the fall of the short-lived PH administration back in 2020, leading to several years of political instability in the country. 


Meanwhile, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) youth chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal on Friday defended Mr Abdul Hadi, claiming that the latter’s remarks were “misconstrued” by the media.

Mr Wan Fayhsal said that the Marang MP was explaining that in a parliamentary democracy, a change in government could always happen despite an anti-hopping law in place.

“The options are always there for a shift of alignment of parties or MPs to support anyone among us to become the prime minister,” he said, according to Free Malaysia Today (FMT). 

He also claimed that the PH coalition appeared to be afraid. 

“My answer is simple, if you truly have two-thirds support (in parliament), why are you afraid? Why are you so afraid to the point of urging the home minister to use a security measure to probe an ‘academic’ comment from a politician about a change in government?” he was quoted as saying by FMT. 

Source: Agencies/ya(nm)


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