Wanted – a new PN prime minister candidate

PETALING JAYA: Perikatan Nasional needs to put forward a new prime minister candidate as the blame over the unilateral revocation of the emergency ordinances will fall on Muhyiddin Yassin.

Commenting on yesterday’s fiasco, which saw shouts of “derhaka” (treason) echo in the Dewan Rakyat and the hashtag #KerajaanDerhaka trend on Twitter, Universiti Sains Malaysia’s (USM) Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid said the angry reactions were to be expected.

He said it was the Yang di-Pertuan Agong who appointed Muhyiddin as the prime minister and the failure to obtain the King’s consent for such a critical issue as the revocation of EOs was akin to betrayal.

Yesterday, in a rare rebuke, Istana Negara said law minister Takiyuddin Hassan had misled MPs in announcing the revocation of EOs, and that the King was aggrieved because he had not yet given his consent.

According to the Palace, the King told Takiyuddin and Attorney-General Idrus Harun during a virtual audience that the revocation of ordinances should be tabled and debated in Parliament.

Ahmad Fauzi said that in running a federal or state government, the prime minister or menteri besar has to know how to navigate the waters when it comes to ties with the royalty.

“A lot of issues will be settled should Muhyiddin and Takiyuddin choose to resign out of ministerial responsibility,” he said.

He said as Umno has only withdrawn support for Muhyiddin rather than the government, PN should present another prime minister candidate who is likely to command the support of a majority of MPs.

“The damage is done, but there is still time before the next elections for them to mend their relations with the Palace,” he said.

Political scientist Wong Chin Huat said the royal disapproval on the EOs issue will hurt all three Malay-based parties in the government.

He said the royalty is seen as the protector of the Malays and a symbol of political supremacy, and Umno, Bersatu and PAS have portrayed themselves as defenders of the royal institution.

So, the issue of the EOs makes them look hypocritical, he said.

Wong also said some government MPs are “clearly in a dilemma”, torn between their loyalty to the prime minister and wanting to stay in the Palace’s good books.

“For those in Umno, they also fear alienating party supporters who hate the prime minister and Bersatu,” he said.

He said the “royal factor” is vital for any party hoping to form the government especially if they do not have a strong majority in Parliament and public support.

“Even during Umno’s heydays, there were some MBs who were forced to retire or move to the federal level because of royal displeasure,” he said. – FMT

by Robin Augustin

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