Friday, January 21, 2022

Questions raised over Warisan MP’s letter to palace as deadline ends

Sepanggar MP Azis Jamman had been photographed displaying his statutory declaration despite a reminder from the speaker for MPs to safeguard the confidentiality of their letters until a decision is made by the Agong.

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As Istana Negara officials pore over statutory declarations from 220 MPs to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on their choice of leader in the next government, one of the letters could face disqualification for breaching the conditions of confidentiality.

A photo of Warisan’s Sepanggar MP Azis Jamman displaying his letter to the palace led social media users to question whether Pakatan Harapan’s prime ministerial nominee Anwar Ibrahim had lost one vote.

“If such a simple instruction cannot be followed, how to keep state secrets?” wrote Facebook user Husbaby Yana after the photo went viral on social media.

Warisan had earlier announced that it would back Anwar as prime minister.

Despite public announcements of support from political party leaders, MPs have been careful not to divulge the specific contents of their letters.

Yesterday, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Azhar Harun said MPs had until 4pm today to submit certified letters to Istana Negara stating their support for their choice of candidate for prime minister, following the resignation of Muhyiddin Yassin this week.

“Any statutory declaration that does not fulfil the necessary criteria or is received late will not be taken into consideration.

“The MPs are reminded to safeguard the confidentiality of their statutory declaration until His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong decides on the matter stated in Paragraph 2 above,” Azhar said in a letter to MPs.

When contacted, Azhar declined to comment, merely saying: “I wrote it in simple BM.”

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