Despite Agong’s call, AG says no need to prove Ismail Sabri’s command of majority in Parliament

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File photo of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun at Istana Negara March 12, 2020. — Picture via Instagram/Istana Negara
File photo of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun at Istana Negara March 12, 2020. — Picture via Instagram/Istana Negara

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 4 — Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun today said there is no need to validate the appointment of Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as prime minister, despite a previous call by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong for a vote of confidence in Parliament.

Idrus said the appointment of Ismail Sabri on August 21 was valid and in line with Articles 40(2)(a) and 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution, as the Agong had already received statutory declarations from the 114 MPs backing the prime minister, and later held an audience with them.

“If the appointment of a new prime minister is still needed to be validated by any party other than His Majesty, this means that His Majesty’s absolute power can be overcome by other parties.

“Such measures are inconsistent with the provisions of the Federal Constitution and negate His Majesty’s powers as enshrined in the Federal Constitution,” he said in a statement.

On August 18, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah had then issued a reminder that whoever gets to be appointed as prime minister to replace Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin must a vote of confidence in the Dewan Rakyat.

Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Indera Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin said in a statement that the Agong believed the confidence vote has to be undertaken as it is the constitutional process for a prime minister to gain legitimacy.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had last month resigned as prime minister after Umno pulled out its support for his Perikatan Nasional government.

The Agong would later decide that his former deputy, Umno’s Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, commanded the majority of Dewan Rakyat to be appointed Muhyiddin’s successor.

Several observers and experts polled by Malay Mail had said that the vote of confidence would help to avoid a recurrent or prolonged political uncertainty with repeated challenges to a new prime minister.

Both Muhyiddin and Ismail Sabri’s command of the majority were decided behind closed doors in Istana Negara rather than proven to the public in the Parliament.

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