Thursday, July 29, 2021

HM Agong has been saddened BUT Mahia is still derhaka-ishly stubborn

Muhyiddin govt must resign now – P. Gunasegaram

Perikatan Nasional administration should step down after unprecedented royal rebuke

Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin (right) must bear responsibility for his insolence towards Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah (left). – Istana Negara pic, July 29, 2021

If there has been the clearest indication by a king in Malaysia that a government must go, this was it. He confirmed what the people suspected all along – that the revocation of emergency ordinances was not yet done and on top of that did not have his assent.

Let’s extract some key points from the Yang di Pertuan Agong’s strongest statement yet: “(The revocation was) hastily made without presenting it in Parliament... the contradictory and misleading statement in Parliament failed to respect the principle of the rule of law in the Rukun Negara.

“To this, His Majesty expresses great disappointment over the statement made on July 26 (Monday) that the government has revoked all emergency ordinances promulgated by His Majesty, although the revocation has not yet been given royal assent.

“His Majesty is also greatly saddened that what was decreed to Law Minister Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan and Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun during an online meet on July 24, that the motion to repeal emergency ordinances must be tabled and debated in Parliament for the purpose of dissolution, has not been implemented.

“His Majesty is aware that there is a need to act based on the advice of the cabinet, in accordance with Article 40(1) of the federal constitution.”

That’s as clear as clear can be and such a royal rebuke has probably never been delivered to a sitting government in Malaysia.

It is now clear that Takiyuddin and the government had not sought the king’s assent and the king is equally in the dark about the proposed revocation – we now know it to be so, because it can’t be law without giving time for the king to give his assent – as the whole of Malaysia, except for some or all members of the Perikatan Nasional cabinet.

It is also clear why the government took this route, because it was first of all fearful of losing a vote – any vote – in Parliament which would show that it no longer enjoyed the support of Parliament and secondly to try, by ridiculous means, to trump the opposition which was all prepared to nail this government to the wall.

Clearly too, Takiyuddin and Idrus were not acting on their own as far as this revocation of the ordinances was concerned. There is only one person who could have given the orders – Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who must be held fully responsible for this unprecedented gaffe of immense proportions.

Tellingly at the height of the Parliament session on Monday, he did not participate in the debate at all, merely reading his statement on the economic recovery plan amid the noise and pandemonium, and leaving soon after that, not to be seen again.

Not that his performance was impressive before, in fact it was much less than lacklustre, appalling to say the least, leaving the country without proper, strong leadership based on concern and respect for the people. In fact I had given 10 reasons why Muhyiddin should resign three weeks ago based on his poor handling of the Covid-19 crisis and the economy.

Muhyiddin simply could not rise to the occasion and offer leadership to guide the country out of the crisis with the help of everyone who could offer expert assistance. Instead he showed that the uppermost in his mind was staying in power at all costs no matter how much damage it caused.

For that reason alone, he and all those closely associated with him, including those who give him strategic advice, must go.

It is still not clear if the entire cabinet was involved with this pathetic attempt to prop up the ruling government. If they were they should go too and if they weren’t, then they should resign now to avoid being tarred with the same brush. Now is the time for all good men in the cabinet to disassociate themselves from this government.

This leaderless, clueless, feckless, hapless government and its leaders must all of them go for they have shown that they are unaccountable to Parliament, king, country and the rakyat, having reconvened the house only under considerable pressure. Muhyiddin and the gang had their chance and they squandered it – badly.

Make way for someone else who has enough support and ability to form a new government; put in a new, fresh, able, straight and competent cabinet and bring some leadership, badly needed to overcome Covid-19 and put this country back on the path of rightness and righteousness. – July 29, 2021

P. Gunasegaram is chief executive of research and advocacy unit Sekhar Institute and editorial consultant of The Vibes

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