The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah today revealed how he had tried to convince Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad against resigning during the political crisis in February.
In his Royal Address, the Agong:
- revealed he had tried to persuade Dr M from resigning
- found Muhyiddin Yassin had the majority support of the MPs
- urged Muhyiddin’s government to be responsible, honest and not neglect the people’s welfare, to always adhere to the principle of justice, clean political culture and avoid touching on race, religion as well as the sovereignty and the position of the Malay rulers
- told politicians not to drag the country into another political turmoil when Malaysians are still facing all sorts of problems and an uncertain future as a result of Covid-19
- said the one-agenda one-day meeting was to avoid political turmoil
- called on MPs to side aside their animosity and not to slander one another even if they held different opinions
The King, in his opening address of the first meeting of the Third Session of the 14th Parliament, detailed how he found out Dr Mahathir’s intention to resign after consenting to have an audience with the former prime minister on the evening of February 24.
“In that meeting, I had asked Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad not to resign but he was adamant with his decision.
“Then, I, with a sad heart, I had to agree and respect his decision,” said the Agong during his address this morning.
Following Dr Mahathir’s resignation, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong said he then had to appoint a new prime minister as required under the Federal Constitution — someone who commands the support of the majority of Parliamentary lawmakers.
His Majesty then explained how he then conducted one-on-one meetings with all the MPs, requesting them to nominate a lawmaker as the next potential prime minister, to gauge which leader commanded the majority support of the Dewan Rakyat.
“What is for sure is that every competition will have its ending. The country’s political crisis cannot be left to continue for a prolonged period without an ending in sight.
“Because of that, after going through all the mentioned processes, and in line with the Federal Constitution, I found that the honourable Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin commanded the majority support from the members of the Dewan Rakyat and so qualified to be appointed as the eighth prime minister,” said the Agong during his address.
“In fact, I discharged my responsibility in a transparent and just manner in accordance with the concept of the Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy that is the backbone of our country’s practice,” he said.
Sultan Abdullah added he remained confident that the administration, led by Muhyiddin, would steer the country to greater heights.
“My advice is to exercise this trust with honesty and responsibility and never ignore the wellbeing of the rakyat,” he said.
In the meantime, Sultan Abdullah also cautioned politicians not to drag the country once again into political turmoil, emphasising that the people were facing hardship and a difficult future as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The honourable members (of Parliament) should always show maturity in politics.
“This includes understanding the people’s grievances, championing their plight, upholding principles of justice, practising a clean political culture, and refraining from harping on religious and racial sensitivities as well as the sovereignty and position of the Malay Rulers.
“That is why my government decided that the first sitting (of the Parliament) today will only have one agenda, that is my Royal address in conjunction with the opening of the new session of the Parliament.” he said.
On the unity of the country’s multiracial society, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong expressed concern over the existence of racial polarisation and wanted all ethnic groups to be honest in their attitude and set good examples to strengthen relations.
His Majesty said that any form of provocation, ideology and values contrary to the norms, customs and laws of the country, even if resorted to by a small group, must be restrained before it spreads and disrupts national stability.
“I welcome the implementation of the National Unity Action Plan to ensure that the national unity agenda can be comprehensively inculcated through the solid elements of trust and identity based on the principles of the Rukun Negara,” he said.
Al-Sultan Abdullah stressed that the position of Islam as the religion of the federation, as enshrined in the Federal Constitution, must be safeguarded and, at the same time, the people of other faiths must be allowed to freely exercise their rights and religions.