PKR leaders hailed Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah’s decision to reject Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s bid to declare a state of emergency but tread carefully on another key part of the ruler’s announcement.
Apart from rejecting the emergency proposal, the monarch had criticised the politicking in the country and discouraged MPs from proceeding with any moves that could destabilise Muhyiddin’s government during the pandemic.
Publicly, the emergency was framed by the government as a means to combat Covid-19 but critics saw it as a move to stave off an attempt to bring down Muhyiddin’s government by defeating his Budget 2021 with the help of rebel MPs in Umno.
Heading the movement was PKR president Anwar Ibrahim, who had sought to replace Muhyiddin as the prime minister.
However, the ruler’s statement appears to have now put Anwar in a difficult position. Proceeding with the plan could set him on a collision course with the palace.
PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution, who is also the Kulim Bandar Baharu MP, hailed the monarch’s decision as unprecedented.
“It is unprecedented, I think the prime minister has got the message clearly.
“Can you please mention one moment where the request by the sitting prime minister was rejected by the Agong?” he asked.
However, asked about the ruler’s caution against proceeding with moves against Muhyiddin’s government, which his boss had been undertaking, Saifuddin merely said that it was the monarch’s way of imparting his wisdom.
“There was an element of advice and an element of preferences, his wish for the budget and the importance of prioritising the people’s interest and to advice politicians (in the statement).
“So that is the wisdom given by the institution of the palace and the Agong,” he said to Malaysiakini when contacted today.
Saifuddin also said that MPs have accountability and responsibility to Parliament which they must carry out.
‘Up to MPs to decide’
PKR vice-president Chang Lih Kang also gave a measured response when asked about the Agong’s statement, saying that it is up to the MPs to decide who they want to support.
“Any MP who thinks he or she should not support Muhyiddin, that is their right. It is our right to support or not support the prime minister,” he said.
For PKR’s Kapar MP Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid, he said he did not want to read too much into the Agong’s statement.
However, he stressed that the Budget must be allowed to be tabled in parliament, as the main focus right now should be on “saving the country” from the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It is the right of the MPs (to debate the Budget),” he said.
Meanwhile, as the Agong’s announcement is still so new, Saifuddin also told Malaysiakini that they will have to go “back to the drawing board” and consult with their Pakatan Harapan allies to decide on their next course of action. – Malaysiakini