Wan Junaidi: Umno’s plot to trigger a snap election, is the country ready to face consequences?

Dato Sri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar

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KUCHING, July 8: Toppling the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government and uprooting Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin could trigger a snap election in the midst of a Covid-19 pandemic, but Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperatives Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar asked if “the country is ready to face the deadly consequences”.

While it is United Malays National Organisation (Umno)’s democratic right to decide on the party’s path, he however asserted that this is not the time to play politics when Covid-19 is still raging, the economy has contracted and most importantly, people are struggling.

“We should handle the two critical issues (facing the country) first — the Covid-19 and the economy.

“If there is a dissolution (of Parliament), then an election will need to be held within 60 days. What’s going to happen then?.

“You (Umno) withdraw support (for PN), it is their democratic right. No doubt about it. But is the decision for the country and rakyat?” he questioned in a statement today, while urging all to think along these lines.

Wan Junaidi, who is also the Santubong MP, was responding to Umno’s announced withdrawal from PN and calling Muhyiddin to step down from his post which has dragged the country into more political turmoil and uncertainty.

He reminded people of all the lessons from the Sabah election which has led to the country grappling with Covid-19 til this day when in the months before August last year, Malaysia was one of the best five countries in the world in handling the pandemic but now finds itself struggling to maneuver itself out of the crisis.

“Is that what people want? Can Malaysia face another prolonged lockdown? My answer is no.

“The investors will go away, the foreign direct investment will not come and SME (small and medium enterprises) will collapse. People will be impoverished.

“Look at the present pandemic situation in the country and the impact it has on the people. Is the decision in the interest of the rakyat?” he asked.

The people, Wan Junaidi asserted, are demanding the government address the Covid-19 pandemic and recovery of the economy.

On the technicality of things, he pointed out that the position of the Prime Minister is determined by the Agong on the basis of the provisions of the Federal Constitution in reference to Article 43(2)(a) and Article 43(4) which do not state anything about party but concerned Members of Parliament (MPs).

“The party therefore is irrelevant in the appointment of the Prime Minister as well as ceasure of the tenure of such appointment.

“While it is besides the point, the most credible means is to go for the vote of no confidence in the Dewan Rakyat.

“But then again, it may not see the light of the day considering the protocol involved which is through a motion with a notice that would only be raised last in the daily agenda of the Dewan,” he explained.

Constitutionally, Wan Junaidi continued, the Agong could not dismiss the standing of a Prime Minister except by vote of no confidence or unless the government fails to pass the Supply Bill.

“If the Prime Minister loses support of the majority or the government fails to provide salaries to civil servants, fund the upkeep of the country or fund people’s projects, then the Prime Minister has to step down or seek the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for the dissolution of the Dewan Rakyat as per Article 43(4),” he added. — DayakDaily