KUALA LUMPUR – Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, Malaysia’s longest-serving lawmaker and Umno MP, called on parliament last month to debate a motion of no confidence in Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for alleged “political corruption” .
And this despite the fact that his party supports the ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.
The revelation comes amid scrutiny over whether Tan Sri Muhyiddin still enjoys majority support in the 222-strong lower house of parliament after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim claimed otherwise during an audience with the king on Tuesday (October 13).
Tan Sri Razaleigh was also summoned to the palace by Sultan Abdullah Ahmad Shah on the same day.
The palace later said Datuk Seri Anwar, who heads the Keadlian Rakyat Party (PKR), did not provide a list of the names of the 120 or more MPs who he said support him.
In a letter to President Azhar Harun on September 25, Mr Razaleigh said he rejected Mr Muhyiddin’s offer to appoint him as adviser to state oil giant Petronas, a post usually reserved for former prime ministers.
Gua Musang’s deputy said it was because the Federal Constitution states that a person can be “disqualified as a deputy if he or she holds a lucrative office”.
“This subsection is intended to prevent MPs from supporting or voting for the government due to political bribes,” he said in the letter that was released to media on Wednesday.
Although Mr Razaleigh did not explicitly refer to other lawmakers, the Muhyiddin administration has been criticized for appointing around 90% of the 113 MPs in the PN coalition to ministerial posts or as heads of agencies. state and government-related enterprises (GLC). .
However, the Constitution defines the “office of profit” as positions in public services such as the armed forces, justice, legal services and the police.
âPolitical corruption poses a serious challenge to our constitutional democracy. Therefore, it is very important that the understanding of political bribes is grounded in the constitutional purpose of considering the exercise of a “ profit function ” resulting in disqualification from membership. to defend and uphold the Constitution and the integrity of the House of Commons, âMr. Razaleigh wrote.
Although President Azhar rejected a request to prioritize the motion of censure – introduced by former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad in May – before government business, the revelation implies that Mr. Muhyiddin’s already very slim majority is now at the bare minimum of 112.
It follows Tuesday evening’s statement by Umno, the largest member of the PN, that he was considering withdrawing his support for Mr. Muhyiddin unless “new conditions” were met.
Although the demands were not specified, Umno and Mr. Muhyiddin’s Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Party have disagreed for months over the primacy of the ruling coalition.
Tensions have intensified more recently after Bersatu was granted the post of chief minister of Sabah following state polls on September 26, with high-level figures in Umno questioning the wisdom of their cooperation with Bersatu.
Mr Razaleigh, who is the head of Umno’s advisory board, also rejected in July the idea of ââcontinuing to support Mr Muhyiddin as prime minister after another general election, due in a few months.