by AFIQ AZIZ / pic by MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
SOME political party leaders are believed to have an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah (picture) this week to discuss the health and political crises which have been muddling the country since last year.
Several media outlets reported sources from the Palace as saying that the meeting will be attended by several leaders including from Umno and Parti Amanah Negara.
A source told The Malaysian Reserve (TMR) yesterday that among party leaders that have been called are representatives from PKR, DAP and Amanah, which are under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) bloc.
“It is still not known what the agenda of the meeting will be but as some portals suggested, it may include the possibilities of a setting up of a temporary government or a National Operations Council as an alternative and ultimate way to fight the Covid-19 crisis together, a probability that many did not discount,” said the source.
It was also unclear as to whether other party leaders such as former Prime Minister (PM) Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad of the yet-to-register Parti Pejuang Tanah Air and Parti Warisan Sabah president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal would join the meeting.
Last week, Dr Mahathir revealed that he had personally written to Sultan Abdullah, asking him to interfere with the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
This includes the continuous criticism by Dr Mahathir and the PH bloc over the proclamation of the Emergency, which has not provided the desired results to curb the Covid-19 pandemic.
In January this year, PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the Emergency to curb the spread of the virus and to strengthen the healthcare services. At the same time, various parties raised the concern that the move was to save Muhyiddin’s thin-majority government as the Emergency puts the Parliament session on a pause until August.
However, the Covid-19 crisis in the country has worsened compared to before the Emergency was declared. Both the Opposition and the public have been urging for the Parliament to reconvene to deliberate a new direction in fighting the crisis.
A committee to end the Emergency was also set up and is being led by Shah Alam lawmaker Khalid Abdul Samad.
On April 20, Khalid, Dr Mahathir and a few MPs sent a memorandum to the Palace, signed by the people, to end the Emergency. They had also sought an audience with Sultan Abdullah to discuss the issue.
Khalid said the King had agreed to meet the group. However, no date was stated in the reply letter that he cited.
Portal twentytwo13 reported that Sultan Abdullah would begin the meeting with party leaders tomorrow (June 9). There would be several meetings to be held within the next few days this week, the report said.
Quoting government sources, The Malaysian Insight reported that the meeting between Sultan Abdullah and the party leaders will be restricted to registered political parties only, hence excluding the possibility of Dr Mahathir and Malaysian United Democratic Alliance leader Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman attending.
A committee member for ending the Emergency Declaration, Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan, however said the Palace has agreed to have an audience with all party leaders, regardless of registration statuses.
In a Twitter post, the Pejuang leader also said the ceremony is a presentation of the “unification for the sake of the country to His Majesty”.
The Palace has yet to issue any statement regarding this matter.