Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki has challenged Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Azizan Harun to deny that he sent a letter to the King admitting that the government had lost its majority.
In the letter, Azhar had allegedly mentioned to the King that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had the support of only 100 MPs in the Dewan Rakyat following the resignation of higher education minister Noraini Ahmad.
In a press conference, Asyraf urged Azhar to urgently come forward and deny the authenticity of the letter if it was not true.
He added that if the content of the letter was true, that meant Muhyiddin had lost his legitimacy as prime minister and must either relinquish his post or request for the King to dissolve Parliament.
According to reports, 15 Umno MPs have withdrawn support for Muhyiddin and his administration either through public or statutory declarations (SDs), leaving the governing coalition with only about 100 MPs in the 222-seat Dewan Rakyat.
Earlier, former law minister Zaid Ibrahim questioned if Azhar had advised the King on the actual situation involving the prime minister’s majority support.
Zaid had also voiced concern over agreements and deals that the government makes at this point when its legitimacy is in doubt.
This was echoed by Asyraf, who said government borrowings, deals and decisions could be challenged in court if Putrajaya’s legitimacy is in question.
“So, the Speaker must be quick to deny the letter. Otherwise, it can be a basis to question whether this prime minister still has the legitimacy to govern and, more importantly, whatever contracts he has signed or approved will be questioned by the people.”
Citing the Perak menteri besar crisis in 2009, the Umno Youth chief said the issue of the prime minister’s majority support could be determined outside of Parliament, too.
The crisis which erupted over the dispute as to whether Pakatan Rakyat’s Nizar Zakaria or Barisan Nasional’s Zambry Abdul Kadir was the rightful Perak menteri besar was eventually decided by the Federal Court.
When asked who would replace Muhyiddin should he be forced to resign, Asyraf said this was up to the King based on Article 40(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution.
He also pointed out that the King had the power under Article 40 to reject the prime minister’s request to dissolve Parliament and make way for elections after losing his parliamentary majority. – FMT