COMMENTARY, Oct 28 — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will have a smooth session in Parliament beginning Monday as parties that plan to hold him by the neck in return for giving him support to pass the Budget are now thinking twice or even three times about that.
The Istana Negara has given a “friendly or soft” reminder that the Budget is very important and expected to have a smooth path in next week’s tabling of Budget and have it passed as it involves continuing the fight to contain the spread of Covid-19 and livelihood of the people.
In short, the Yang Di Pertuan Agong is telling political parties within and outside the government to stop playing politics and put the people’s need and the fight against Covid-19 as the top priority.
This is the second reminder from the Agong. The first reminder was when he rejected the prime minister’s proposal to impose an emergency to suspend Parliament in the fight to contain the pandemic, as the Budget needed to be passed without hindrance to finance the war.
Muhyiddin had anticipated the rough road to pass the Budget given the Opposition had filed some 16 motions of no confidence against him and the demands the parties would make for cooperating to pass the Budget.
Hardly a week since the emergency proposal was rejected, Barisan Nasional (BN) had given a threat that a new deal should be struck between the party and Muhyiddin for the total support it would be giving.
PKR through Wong Chen had suggested that Muhyiddin make parliamentary reforms which was to give the right to the Opposition to table a motion of no confidence, on the reason that this would put a check on the legitimacy of the prime minister. The second demand was for the Cabinet to sign an undertaking to pass the Parliamentary Services Act to make Parliament financially and administratively independent from executive control.
Umno, on the other hand, wanted the deputy prime minister post and several senior and important ministries. The party does not want to play second fiddle any more to the “smaller” Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
The demands came while Muhyiddin’s leadership was trying hard to fight the Covid-19 pandemic. The number of infections has been on the rise and involves the whole country, not a few states.
Muhyiddin may expect some “small or trivial” retaliation after the Agong gave the first reminder after rejecting his proposal, but he has been proven wrong.
The demands have been serious and he may be voted out of office before the Budget is tabled next Friday.
Politics in the country has been on a wild course, like a wild, wild west movie where everyone is shooting at each other, as the Opposition refuses to recognise Muhyiddin as the prime minister.
The term “backdoor government” and fighting for the mandate of the people, which the Opposition uses, have now become a joke to the public at large as the public blame former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for the current political instability.
Now that the Agong has issued a “decree”, the Budget should go through Parliament and be passed. Will there be any more demands from any party?
If there is, is such an act considered seditious or treasonous? Only the police and Attorney General’s Chambers can answer that.
As time moves, Muhyiddin should be allowed a smooth way to table and pass the Budget for the people and country, as the country needs the money to fight the battle — not a political battle at this trying time.