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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Mujahid: Has naive Hassan forgotten Sheraton Move?


PKR lawmaker Hassan Abdul Karim’s remarks about Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar’s stand on political coups has courted brickbats from within the Pakatan Harapan coalition.

Amanah deputy president Mujahid Yusof Rawa asked if the Pasir Gudang MP, whom he claimed appeared naive about the reality of the political situation, had forgotten the Sheraton Move in 2020, which resulted in the public losing faith in politicians and political parties.

“Didn’t YB Pasir Gudang (Hassan) realise that what lurked behind the Sheraton Move is the erosion of morals with MPs who can be bought with money and positions?” he added in a statement.

The Sheraton Move refers to the political coup involving defections from Harapan which led to the coalition losing its grip on federal power after 22 months of winning the 2018 general election.

Mujahid (above), who is also a senator, said while the king’s decree is open to debate, MPs must also respect the monarch’s powers which permits His Majesty to criticise politicians.

“YB Pasir Gudang failed to understand the entire context of the king’s decree which expresses concern over the unstable political situation which destabilises efforts to prioritise the people’s welfare and national prosperity,” he added.

Yesterday, Hassan claimed that Sultan Ibrahim had “crossed a line” in stating that he would not entertain attempts to topple the government.

Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim

Pointing out that the Agong is a constitutional and not an absolute monarch, the PKR MP said His Majesty cannot ignore a situation where the opposition manages to secure the support of the majority of MPs to allow it to form a new government.

Political instability warrants call

Mujahid said after the 2022 national polls, talks of changing the government persisted, dragging Malaysians into the polemic of how long the coalition government would last.

“The opposition is preoccupied with guessing the date of this government’s collapse and uses race and religious sentiments against the coalition government.

“It is because of such moves and obsession that the anti-hopping law was born. All the MPs were united in passing the law. Is the Pasir Gudang MP attempting to decouple this background from the king’s decree?

“Why can’t the Agong decree that politicians should wait for the next general election? Did His Majesty not base this on the unstable political situation?

“Doesn’t PMX (Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim) have more than a two-thirds majority (in the Dewan Rakyat)? Is YB Pasir Gudang so politically naive?” he asked.

Mujahid said Hassan did not err in the sense that an MP cannot provide his or her view regarding the king’s decree, but erred in being “naive of the reality and background” on which the decree was premised.

“Our kings are constitutional monarchs but their decrees have deeper meaning. After all, only the wise can recognise a jewel,” he added.

Yesterday, PAS secretary-general Takiyuddin Hassan described Sultan Ibrahim’s decree as the monarch’s personal view.

Nothing to gain

In a related development, Hassan told reporters in Pasir Gudang, Johor, that he has nothing to gain from Anwar’s downfall.

He was responding to questions regarding his call for the prime minister, who is also the finance minister, to explain the weakening ringgit.

Hassan said he is not afraid of criticising the prime minister or the government, and that the prime minister must explain in Parliament the steps taken to address the slide of the ringgit.

“At the same time, I am not afraid to give credit and acknowledge the prime minister and government. I have to be fair.

“For example, in the context of the ringgit, many have criticised Anwar but do not realise that the situation now is different. The fall of the ringgit in 2024 is different compared to the fall of the ringgit in 1998.

“At present, the overnight policy rate (OPR) is only three percent and inflation is 1.5 percent, compared to the OPR rate in 1998 when it was 10 percent and inflation 5.3 percent,” he was quoted as saying by Sinar Harian.

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