The political legitimacy of the government must be established in a transparent manner for the benefit of the entire nation, Mustafa K Anuar writes.
A letter reportedly written by the longest-serving parliamentarian, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, on 25 September, urging Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun to allow a no-confidence motion against Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to be debated, made swift rounds on social media.
Similarly, Azhar’s reply, citing the standing orders that apparently put a heavy priority on government matters over other matters, trended on social media.
In a lengthy explanation later, Azhar insisted a speaker is not empowered to hasten such a motion until and unless the government consents to it – and, going by past practices, it is not likely it will see the light of day.
Obviously, these exchanges have triggered interest, curiosity and concern among Malaysians, whose lives have been affected, directly or otherwise, ever since the so-called Sheraton Move, which eventually toppled the Pakatan Harapan government in February.
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The political climate of the country has never been so uncertain, while some people are already experiencing political fatigue.
Razaleigh wrote the letter on the heels of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s public declaration on 23 September he had secured “strong, formidable and convincing” support from more than 120 MPs, indicating he was ready to take over the reins of power from Muhyiddin.
This has become a hot-button issue for many Malaysians because the political legitimacy of the government has been put into question.
It appears the Yang di-Pertuan Agong felt concerned enough about Anwar’s declaration to summon Razaleigh for consultation after meeting Anwar a few hours earlier.
This was apart from the reported invitations to leaders of political parties – the DAP’s Lim Guan Eng, Amanah’s Mohamed Sabu and Zahid Hamidi of Umno – to the Istana Negara.
The stakes were raised recently when Amanah communications director Khalid Samad said about 30 Umno MPs and some independents had chosen to throw their weight behind Anwar.
As if this political cloudiness is not enough, the plot thickened with the rumour of Razaleigh himself aiming to wrest the post from Muhyiddin.
Such is the haziness that has engulfed many Malaysians that it warrants a concrete step from the government to clear the air.
One way – an honourable and democratic one at that – is for the Perikatan Nasional government to allow for a motion of no confidence to take place in the Dewan Rakyat as soon as possible.
The political legitimacy of the government must be established in a transparent manner for the benefit of the entire nation.
As a nation, we can no longer afford to be waylaid by political shenanigans and endless Machiavellian acts.
There is so much work to be done in a country that has been besieged by the scourge of the coronavirus. We must stay focused on placing concrete and effective measures to save lives amid the pandemic. The economy, after being battered by the pandemic, needs to be resuscitated as some businesses have gone bust, unemployment has spiked, and the poverty rate has escalated.
It is high time for the nation to rise above all these human misdemeanours so that it can walk with its head held high among the community of nations. Ordinary Malaysians would like our nation to take this path.