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7th March 2020

PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s contention that those pushing for a vote of no confidence against the newly appointed prime minister do not trust the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong reveals two distinctive characteristics of him. He is either a simpleton, ignorant of the UK Westminster construct of our parliamentary monarchy system; or one who is unprincipled and trying to mislead the rural masses so as to capture their political support. Either way he is unfit to be a deputy prime minister if that is what he is secretly yearning for. 
Patriot has stated very clearly in our previous statements that the newly appointed prime minister and the newly formed coalition, Perikatan Nasional, has to prove its legitimacy in parliament. During the political turmoil barely a week ago, when His Majesty Yang Di-Pertuan Agong interviewed all MPs, there was no clear majority support for any of the contenders – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim or Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. As it turned out, His Majesty’s wisdom had adjudged that Muhyiddin had the most support at that material time. 
It is only the aftermath of His Majesty’s decision that Dr Mahathir made public the list of 114 MPs supporting him with statutory declarations. It was akin to an after-thought that carried little weight in law. It now remains for Prime Minister Muhyiddin and his cohorts to show that they have at least 112 MPs’ support. Honour and integrity demand that the newly appointed prime minister should resign if they do not have. Hence, testing for majority support with a vote of confidence (or defeating the no-confidence vote) at the quickest possible time is the best way forward. 
It is also very telling that after a week has passed, only two Asean nations sent congratulatory messages to our new prime minister. The other eight Asean nations and world leaders have remained silent. 
Calling for a no-confidence vote does not, and in not way, imply any distrust towards the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong. In fact, it upholds democratic principles and even strengthens the institutions of government. Abdul Hadi Awang was not honest and mischievous when he suggested as such. He is unable to analyse issues objectively. He is parochially selective in interpreting society norms his own ways without deeper thoughts. Just like when he accused the prominent group of former civil servants, G25, of being more dangerous than the al-Maunah militant group over the apostasy debate. If he is truly a scholar he should have studied carefully G25’s 200-page report, Administration of Matters Pertaining to Islam, and engage the group in a learned manner. He is no scholar, but no doubt a shrewd politician. 
Patriot cannot tolerate and warns against politician capitalising ethno-religious-royalty sentiment as a means to an end. We are already a very divided nation. This nonsense of playing the 3R card must stop. 
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan