PETALING JAYA: Muda president Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has challenged those who urged him to quit his parliamentary seat to “look in the mirror” as having lost their desire to fight corruption.
He said he had remained consistent in fighting corruption.
“Who is not consistent all the way? I’m not the one who dropped the corruption charges even though they said before that they are anti-corruption. That is their work not mine,” he said, defending his decision earlier today to withdraw support for the unity government.
Syed Saddiq, who is Muda’s sole MP, said the decision was caused by the abrupt halt to deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s trial on 47 corruption charges after the prosecution applied for him to be discharged.
The Muda decision led to Segamat MP R Yuneswaran of PKR calling on Syed Saddiq to vacate the Muar seat as he had won the seat by partnering with PH.
His coalition colleague, RSN Rayer of DAP who is MP for Jelutong, said the Muda exit, causing the government to lose its two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat, would hurt efforts to carry out legal and political reforms that require constitutional amendments.
However, Syed Saddiq said the Zahid decision was “the beginning of the abandonment of reforms”.
“Trust me, many more will be dropped,” he said.
Syed Saddiq alleged that there was political intervention in the Zahid decision as a result of the “lack of separation of power” in the current political system.
“The attorney-general is selected by the prime minister and accountable to the prime minister’s office,” said Syed Saddiq.
Other telltale signs of political interference were the early retirement of previous attorneys-general, and the contract extension for former attorney-general Idris Harun by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim.
He said the unity government has forsaken the reform agenda which they had promised voters at the general election in November.
Among the measures not carried out was allocating equal amounts of constituency funds for all MPs on both sides of the house.
“I’ve never agreed to this. This is a question of principles. Where are the reforms? One after one, red lines have been stepped over due to political convenience,” he said.
Muda’s decision to end support for the unity government left the government without a two-thirds majority just a day after PH had restored the supermajority by winning the Pulai parliamentary seat in a by-election.
Syed Saddiq said he would form a “third force” in the Dewan Rakyat, to fight for the people and for reform.
However, there was no shortcut to reforming the political system, he said. “It will take time.”