Ku Li to abstain from Budget 2021 debate as long as no-confidence motion not allowed

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KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 22): Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah will not be participating in the Budget 2021 debate as long as the legitimacy of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his Cabinet is not tested.

In a letter dated Nov 19 to Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun, the Umno Gua Musang member of Parliament shot down the speaker's suggestion that he should seek the consent of Minister in the Prime Minister's Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan to have the motion of no confidence tabled.

"It is my view that the minister of law has no role whatsoever in determining whether a vote of confidence in the Dewan Rakyat can be tabled. To suggest that such an important issue is subject to the agreement of the minister of law is unconstitutional and a serious breach of the autonomy and independence of the Dewan Rakyat from any form of control by the executive," he wrote.

The lawmaker also wrote that the premier's legitimacy depends on whether he has the support of the Dewan Rakyat, which must be established before the government's business proposals are debated.

"To participate in the Dewan Rakyat on the question of the budget without first establishing the prime minister's and his ministers' legitimacy is to compromise on an important constitutional principle which will have serious consequences on the upholding of our constitution and the rule of law and the possible use of political corruption to maintain power in conflict with the constitution," he added.

Tengku Razaleigh also warned that political corruption could be the "worm in the bud" that will destroy the constitutional system of democracy from within.

"The opinion in the public domain is that 'political corruption' and money are destroying the soul of our nation and our political system," he wrote.

It is worth noting that while the senior politician has said he will stay out of the Budget 2021 debate, he has not indicated whether he will vote on the matter this coming Thursday (Nov 26).