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Hadi Awang, you are wrong on vote of no confidence

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Patriot cannot tolerate and warns against politicians on capitalising on ethno-religious-royalty sentiment as a means to an end.

Pas president Abdul Hadi Awang’s contention that those pushing for a vote of no confidence against the newly appointed prime minister do not trust the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong reveals Hadi’s two distinctive characteristics.

He is either a simpleton, ignorant of the UK Westminster construct of our parliamentary monarchy system or one who is trying to mislead the rural masses to capture their political support. Either way he is unfit to be a deputy prime minister, if that is what he is secretly yearning for.

Patriot has stated very clearly in our previous statements that the newly appointed prime minister and the newly formed coalition, Perikatan Nasional, has to prove its legitimacy in Parliament.

During the political turmoil barely a week ago, when the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong interviewed all MPs, there was no clear majority support for any of the contenders – Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar Ibrahim or Muhyiddin Yassin. As it turned out, the Agong’s wisdom had adjudged that Muhyiddin had the most support at that material time.

It is only the aftermath of the Agong’s decision that Mahathir made public the list of 114 MPs supporting him with statutory declarations. It was akin to an afterthought that carried little weight in law.

It now remains for Prime Minister Muhyiddin and his cohorts to show that they have at least 112 MPs’ support. Honour and integrity demand that the newly appointed prime minister should resign if they do not have.

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Hence, testing for majority support with a vote of confidence (or defeating the no-confidence vote) at the quickest possible time is the best way forward.

It is also very telling that after a week has passed, only two Asean nations sent congratulatory messages to our new prime minister. The other eight Asean nations and world leaders have remained silent.

Calling for a no-confidence vote does not, and in no way, imply any distrust towards the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong. In fact, it upholds democratic principles and even strengthens the institutions of government.

Abdul Hadi Awang was not honest and mischievous when he suggested as such. He is unable to analyse issues objectively. He is parochially selective in interpreting societal norms his own ways without deeper thought. Just like when he accused the prominent group of former civil servants, G25, of being more dangerous than the al-Maunah militant group over the apostasy debate. If he is truly a scholar, he should have studied carefully G25’s 200-page report, Administration of Matters Pertaining to Islam, and engaged the group in a learned manner. He is no scholar but no doubt a shrewd politician.

Patriot cannot tolerate and warns against politicians on capitalising on ethno-religious-royalty sentiment as a means to an end. We are already a very divided nation. This nonsense of playing the three-R (race, religion and royalty) card must stop.

Retired Brigadier-General Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji is president of the National Patriots Association (Patriot)

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