The vote of confidence in the Perak state assembly today has ramped up calls for another vote, this time in Parliament.
Both Umno and DAP leaders said a vote of confidence on Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin would lay to rest any question of the Perikatan Nasional government’s legitimacy.
“Once and for all, we can settle this,” Padang Rengas MP Nazri Abdul Aziz told Malaysiakini.
“Even though we have beaten (the opposition) several times in the Budget 2021 debate, they still say the government is unstable.
“So, let’s do it (vote on the prime minister),” he added.
Earlier today, Bersatu’s Ahmad Faizal Azumu was ousted as Perak menteri besar after 48 assemblypersons voted against him during a motion of confidence at the state legislative assembly sitting.
Only 10 state lawmakers supported him.
The vote was allowed by speaker Mohamad Zahir Abdul Khalid and fast-tracked after emergency motions from both Umno and DAP.
In a press conference later, Teluk Intan MP Nga Kor Ming said Dewan Rakyat speaker Azhar Harun should follow the precedent set by Perak.
“The Perak Speaker (Zahid Abdul Khalid) did the right thing today, and Azhar should do the same and follow this example.
“A motion of confidence, as stated in the federal constitution and Perak constitution, involves the legitimacy of the government of the day and should precede all government business.
“If Perak can do it, why not Parliament? Motions of confidence that involve the legitimacy of the government should precede any government business.
“This is so that Malaysia no longer has a backdoor government,” he said.
Azhar previously said that any private member motions in Parliament, including votes of confidence, could only be done after the government has settled its business.
He instead advised Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah – who is pushing for a vote – to seek the consent of de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan for the no-confidence motion to be tabled as a government bill.
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had suggested that the government do so.
Asked whether the vote should be held at the next Parliament session on Monday, Nazri said this would have to be decided by the leadership.
“But for me, why not?” he said.
He also expressed confidence that all 112 MPs in the government right now would continue supporting Muhyiddin.
“At the federal level we are solid,” he said.
He said the decision to oust Faizal in Perak had nothing to do with any federal dealings, but rather was the state Umno’s dissatisfaction with the outgoing menteri besar.
Other Umno leaders, however, appear to be upset with Putrajaya at the moment over the conditions set by the Employees Provident Fund on the i-Sinar scheme for Account 1 withdrawals.
Generally, EPF said contributors seeking to make an Account 1 withdrawal must have either lost their source of income or prove that their total income had reduced by 30 percent since March 1.
Withdrawals will have to be spread out over a maximum of six months. The maximum that can be withdrawn the first time is between RM5,000 and RM10,000, depending on eligibility.
Umno leaders critical of this said the conditions and mechanisms were too restrictive to help the people.
The EPF Account 1 withdrawal conditions had been eased by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz last week.
This was believed to be aimed at placating Umno, which had sent signals that they may withhold support for Budget 2021 if their demands were not met.
It is understood that top Umno MPs – party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Ahmad and supreme council members Tajuddin Abdul Rahman and Shahidan Kassim – will be meeting Zafrul soon over their disagreements with the i-Sinar scheme