OPPOSITION leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin said that the government has used threats and intimidation tactics to force Kuala Kangsar MP Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid to declare his support for the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
According to the Bersatu secretary-general, this is done by the government to regain a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
He alleged that on Oct 1 Iskandar Dzulkarnain was brought to meet a high-ranking official from the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) at a hotel in Damansara and was threatened with corruption charges should he refuse to sign a statement stating his support for the Madani government.
“On Sept 26, the Kuala Kangsar MP was also approached by a prominent business tycoon with the title ‘Tan Sri’ who is believed to have close ties with the prime minister in a location around Damansara,” Hamzah said in a press statement today (Oct 13).
“He was pressured and forced to declare his support for the prime minister in addition to being offered monetary rewards and positions in several companies.”
Hamzah also claimed that, in a recent meeting with Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Iskandar Dzulkarnain had appeared “visibly distressed” due to the intimidation being placed on him.
He went on to point out that the Kuala Kangsar MP’s statement, which cited development allocations as a justification for supporting the government, greatly differed from the explanations given to several party leaders.
“PN urges the Madani government to cease the abuse of power and intimidation against MPs. Such culture runs contrary to the principles of democracy practised by a country that upholds supremacy of the Constitution and the rule of law,” he remarked.
“PN has also acknowledged the Bersatu political bureau’s decision to seek further explanation from Iskandar Dzulkarnain before deciding on the next course of action.”
Yesterday (Oct 12), Iskandar Dzulkarnain said his decision to support the government was made after considering the urgent need to address the rising cost of living in his constituency.
He said his decision was also meant to test whether the prime minister was sincere in providing allocation to any MP who supports the unity government’s policies.
He also emphasised he remains loyal to Bersatu, even though he acknowledged that he risks facing disciplinary action.
For the record, Anwar did not make any public announcement requiring opposition MPs – who currently do not get any federal funding to service their constituents – to support the government’s policies to be eligible for the allocation.
Instead, the Tambun MP and other backbenchers have repeatedly told opposition lawmakers to hold discussions with the government to get equal allocations and assured that the government is open to such talks. – Oct 13, 2023
Main pic credit: Utusan Malaysia