PETALING JAYA: Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, making a stand against political corruption, has said that he will not attend the debate on the 2021 budget while the legitimacy of the government had not been established.
In a letter to the Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, Azhar Azizan Harun, he told off the Speaker for having made what he described as a misconceived suggestion to consult the law minister about tabling a motion of no confidence in the prime minister.
“To discuss the budget without first establishing the legitimacy of the prime minister and his ministers “is to compromise on an important constitutional principle”, said Razaleigh, who is familiarly known as Ku Li.
Such a compromise would have serious consequences on the upholding of the Federal Constitution and said it was a “possible use of political corruption to maintain power”.
“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 is destroying the soil of our nation and our political system,” Razaleigh said.
He said he could not in conscience take part in the debate.
Razaleigh said the Speaker’s suggestion to consult de facto law minister Takiyuddin Hassan – about having the confidence motion tabled and debated – was against the Federal Constitution.
To subject the motion to the consent of the law minister would nullify the purpose of Article 43 of the Federal Constitution, said Razaleigh. The article calls for the prime minister to tender the resignation of the Cabinet if he ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the Dewan Rakyat, unless the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has consented to dissolve Parliament.
He pointed out that the minister is also the subject of the motion of no confidence.
Razaleigh said the Speaker’s interpretation of the law minister’s powers was unconstitutional and would have serious consequences on the role of the Dewan Rakyat, which has a duty to uphold the constitution, as stated in the oath taken by MPs and also by the speaker.
The speaker’s suggestion about consulting the law minister had been brought up as a matter of procedure as parliamentary practice is for government business to take precedence over other matters.
Razaleigh wrote to Azhar in September seeking a guarantee that the no-confidence motion would be raised at the next Dewan Rakyat meeting.
The motion had been proposed by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad against Muhyiddin Yassin, who had taken over after Mahathir’s resignation caused the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.
Azhar had replied that he was bound by the rules of the Dewan Rakyat. “Please negotiate with Takiyuddin Hassan to give priority to certain private motions,” Azhar had said.