KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s longest-serving Umno lawmaker and MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah last month called on parliament to debate a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin over alleged “political corruption “.
This despite the fact that his party supports the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.
The revelation comes amid scrutiny to determine whether Tan Sri Muhyiddin still enjoys majority support in the lower house of parliament, which has 222 MPs, after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim claimed otherwise during an audience with the king on Tuesday, October 13.
Tan Sri Razaleigh was also summoned to the palace by Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah on the same day.
The palace later said Datuk Seri Anwar, who heads the Keadlian Rakyat Party (PKR), did not provide a list of the names of the 120 or more MPs who he said support him.
In a letter to President Azhar Harun on September 25, Mr Razaleigh said he had rejected Mr Muhyiddin’s offer to appoint him as adviser to oil giant Petronas, a post usually reserved for former prime ministers.
Gua Musang’s deputy said it was because the Federal Constitution states that one can be “disqualified as a deputy if he holds a for-profit position”.
“This subsection is intended to prevent MPs from supporting or voting for the government because of political bribes,” he said in the letter released to media on Wednesday.
Although Mr Razaleigh did not explicitly refer to other lawmakers, the Muhyiddin administration has been criticized for appointing around 90% of the 113 MPs in the PN coalition to ministerial posts, or as heads of government. state agencies and government-related enterprises (GLC).
However, the Constitution defines âfor-profit officeâ as positions in public services such as the armed forces, justice, legal services and police forces.
âPolitical corruption poses a serious challenge to our constitutional democracy. Therefore, it is very important that the understanding of political bribes is based on the constitutional objective of considering the performance of a “lucrative function” resulting in disqualification from membership and defending and upholding the Constitution. and the integrity of the House of Commons, âMr. Razaleigh wrote.
Although President Azhar rejected the request to prioritize the motion of censure – submitted by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in May – before government business, the revelation implies that Mr. Muhyiddin’s already slim majority is now at the bare minimum of 112.
This follows Tuesday night’s statement by Umno, the PN’s largest member, that he was considering withdrawing his support for Mr. Muhyiddin unless “new conditions” were met.
Although the demands have not been specified, Umno and Mr. Muhyiddin’s Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Party have disagreed for months over the primacy of the ruling coalition.
Tensions erupted more recently after Bersatu won the post of chief minister of Sabah following the September 26 elections, with senior Umno officials questioning the wisdom of their cooperation with Bersatu.
Mr Razaleigh, who is the head of Umno’s advisory board, also rejected in July the idea of ââcontinuing to support Mr Muhyiddin as prime minister after another general election, which is expected in a few months.