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Umno’s Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said he refused to sign a statutory declaration (SD) backing Muhyiddin Yassin as the prime minister as he did not believe that was the right way.
He said determining one’s majority support in the Dewan Rakyat through SDs may not be proper.
“Statutory declarations can be forced - forced by the party, forced by opponents, forced by anyone or even threatened.
“What is required of Parliament is a vote in the Dewan Rakyat where MPs can vote openly and sincerely. That is what is required by the federal constitution,” he said in an interview with Malaysiapost.
“That was why I did not sign an SD. I feel that it would be wrong to do so. I held on to the federal constitution,” he said.
Razaleigh was among the vocal leaders in Umno who have demanded a vote in the Dewan Rakyat to test Muhyiddin’s support.
Muhyiddin was sworn in as the new prime minister on March 1 last year. This followed the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government in February last year.
The MPs had signed SDs to state their preferences with the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong interviewing all MPs individually amid the fluid situation and changing allegiances.
Razaleigh reiterated that Muhyiddin should be tested in Parliament on whether he genuinely commanded majority support.
Keep doors open
In the interview, Razaleigh, also known as Ku Li, said Umno should keep its doors open on cooperating with any parties.
He had previously suggested that an Umno-Harapan cooperation could win them the next general election but the idea is unpopular with party grassroots.
The Umno advisory board chairperson stressed that there were no permanent enemies in politics.
“We can ally with anyone if the cooperation is beneficial to the country and people. As long as we are not allying with Satan,” he said.
On a separate matter, Razaleigh said his labelling of PAS as “political prostitutes” did not come from himself.
Instead, the veteran politician said that was what he had been hearing from people.
“I didn’t say it but people have been giving PAS that label,” he said.