PETALING JAYA: Umno Supreme Council member Puad Zarkashi has called for Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to resign, following the decision by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to reject the government’s proposal to declare a state of emergency over the Covid-19 crisis.
In a Facebook post, Puad claimed PPBM leaders had blamed International Trade and Industry Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali and Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin for the fiasco during an “emotional” meeting at Muhyiddin’s private residence in Bukit Damansara last night.
“Is it true that they had ill-advised Muhyiddin?” he asked.
More than 10 vehicles believed to be ferrying members of the Cabinet had been seen entering the compound of Muhyiddin’s home, hours after a conference at Istana Negara between the King and other Malay Rulers.
According to Puad, a PPBM member told him the Cabinet and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang wanted to discuss the results of the Rulers’ meeting after the decision was announced.
He said the party insider had also dismissed rumours the prime minister was thinking about resigning, saying it was part of the “propaganda by stubborn politicians who wanted to take up playing politics again”.
Puad said the King’s rejection meant he had realised that the emergency proposal was only a political manoeuvre, and not a move to battle the pandemic.
“The third paragraph of the palace’s media statement said ‘Sultan Abdullah believed the government has successfully contained the pandemic efficiently’.
“If the Agong is confident, why not the prime minister? Did the prime minister attempt to lie to the Agong?” he asked.
Puad also said legal experts had pointed out that the King should listen to the prime minister’s advice, as stated under Article 40 of the Federal Constitution.
“But it looks like his (Muhyiddin’s) advice was not accepted. So where is his credibility as prime minister?
“Thankfully, the Agong was not influenced by political games that could drag the country down further. The wellbeing of the people is more important. Muhyiddin should just resign.”
Meanwhile, DAP’s Liew Chin Tong has urged Muhyiddin to ask senior ministers Azmin and Hamzah to tender their resignations instead, as a way for the government to move forward.
“To foster goodwill for bipartisanship, Muhyiddin should ask Hamzah and Ali to resign to take responsibility for wrongly advising the King and also for creating the toxic political atmosphere that led to the Cabinet decision of pushing for emergency rule,” Liew said in a statement.
By doing so, he said, it would foster better cooperation between the Perikatan Nasional (PN) administration and the opposition, for the greater good of the nation during this Covid-19 crisis.
“The government should not fear Parliament and the government must not treat the opposition as the enemy of the state.
“With equal treatment of opposition MPs, the Muhyiddin administration has an opportunity to turn the crisis into the new birth of Malaysian parliamentary democracy,” he said.