Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has decided against taking part in the Budget 2021 debate as long as Azhar Azizan Harun refuses to allow a confidence vote on Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
The Gua Musang MP conveyed his position in a letter dated November 19 to the Dewan Rakyat speaker.
His aides confirmed the authenticity of the letter, which has been circulating in social media since yesterday afternoon.
“As the legitimacy of the government has not been decided yet, I am bound by my conscience on the oath I have taken and, therefore, cannot participate in the debate on the budget,” the Umno advisory council chairman said in the six-page letter.
“To participate in the Dewan Rakyat on the question of the budget without first establishing the prime minister’s and his ministers’ legitimacy is to compromise on an important constitutional principle, which will have serious consequences on the upholding of our constitution, the rule of law and the possible use of political corruption to maintain power in conflict with the constitution.
“It is my considered view that ‘political corruption’ by its very nature can be described as the ‘worm in the bud’ that will destroy our constitutional system of democracy from within.
“The opinion in the public domain is that ‘political corruption’ and money are destroying the soul of our nation and political system,” he said.
The Gua Musang MP, who is known as Ku Li, had previously said he wanted a guarantee that a no-confidence motion could be tabled against the prime minister in the upcoming Dewan Rakyat sitting, following the failure of its Speaker to do so in the past sitting.
In the September 25 letter, Tengku Razaleigh had then asked Azhar why the no-confidence motion was not debated.
In the letter, Tengku Razaleigh also cited Article 43 of the Federal Constitution, which states that a sitting prime minister must obtain the confidence of the Dewan Rakyat as a prerequisite for him to officially helm the post
In his reply, Azhar, however, said that such a motion will only be expedited if it receives the consent of the minister in charge of law, Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan.
Tengku Razaleigh, in his latest letter, criticised Azhar over his reason for not allowing a confidence motion.
“It is my view that the minister of law has no role whatsoever in determining whether a vote of confidence of the Dewan Rakyat can be tabled.”
He said the Dewan Rakyat is an autonomous and independent institution outside the control of the executive arm of government or any other authority.
“To suggest that such an important issue is subject to the agreement of the minister of law is unconstitutional and a serious breach of the autonomy and independence of the Dewan Rakyat from any form of control by the executive,” he said
Tengku Razaleigh had before this said he was offered the adviser post in Petronas by the Muhyiddin, to which he rejected.
The debate on the Budget 2021 ended on Thursday, and today the ministers will reply to points raised during the debate. The budget will be put to the vote on Thursday.