Dr M and others seek audience with Agong over public fury on emergency

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‘Tamat Darurat’ ad hoc Committee to End Emergency submitted petition to Istana Negara, requesting an audience with the King.

Hari Anggara

Three top opposition figures today have requested an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to convey alleged negative sentiments from the public over the proclamation of emergency.

The trio – Langkawi MP Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Kota Raja MP Mohamad Sabu and Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad – submitted their petition to Istana Negara at approximately 3.10pm.

The petition was submitted on behalf of the ‘Tamat Darurat’ ad hoc Committee to End Emergency, which comprises opposition MPs from Parti Pejuang Tanah Air (Pejuang), Amanah, Warisan, DAP, PKR, and the Malaysian United Democratic Alliance (Muda).

“We now have seen the sentiments of the Malay people and (today) have sent (a memorandum) to the Agong’s senior private secretary, because the Malays are starting to get angry with the Agong.

“We can see this on social media. This is very unusual, for the Malays to get angry with the ruler.

Azneal Ishak/Malaysiakini

“It’s quite clear that a lot of Malays are now angry and suffering because of the emergency. Not all Malays, but quite a considerable number are angry with the Agong,” Dr Mahathir told reporters outside the Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur.

They entered the palace through Gate 3 about 3.20pm.

Also present outside Gate 3 were Pejuang president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil and Petaling Jaya member of parliament Maria Chin Abdullah.

According to Dr Mahathir, they were only able to meet with the King’s private secretary.

He also quipped: “Before, even when I was not prime minister, I came by the front door (of the palace), but now I have to come by the back door.”

This is the second time that the Tamat Darurat committee has requested an audience with the King. The last attempt was on March 26, where they did not receive a reply from palace officials.

The committee had launched an online petition last month to submit evidence of the people’s dissatisfaction with the King.

Khalid said they were confident that the King would consider their request this time around.

The emergency took effect on January 11 and is to last until August 1 at the latest. The government has said it is necessary to stem the rising number of Covid-19 infections.

Dr Mahathir’s reference to social media comes as Malaysian Twitter users are posting their feelings about the emergency and the royalty using the hashtag #DengkiKe, following an online report that members of the palace had allegedly been vaccinated out of queue under the different phases of the National Covid-19 Immunisation Programme.

The report, by Asia Sentinel, has been denied by Health Minister Dr Adham Baba, although the palace has yet to publicly respond to it.

#DengkiKe, is still the top hashtag on Twitter in Malaysia with 79,200 tweets at press time.

The phrase, which roughly means, “Are you envious?” was used by the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah on her Instagram account yesterday in response to a user who asked if chefs working at the palace had also been vaccinated.

Dr Mahathir, Mohamad and Khalid exited the palace at 3.45pm.