Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim has questioned whether there will be a vote of confidence in Parliament to determine whether Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin enjoys the confidence of a majority of Dewan Rakyat members.
He said this in response to Attorney-General Idrus Harun’s legal opinion claiming that a party leader cannot determine the confidence of a majority of MPs in a prime minister.
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had on Thursday announced that the party was withdrawing support for Muhyiddin as the prime minister.
“In the attorney-general’s statement, he said, ‘for now, the government does not have any clear facts to show that the prime minister no longer enjoyed the confidence of a majority of Dewan Rakyat members.’
“Surely, the attorney-general will agree that the ‘clear facts’ he mentioned can be seen through a confidence vote on the prime minister during a parliamentary session.
“Therefore, I ask the attorney-general, as an adviser to the government, would the government hold a vote of confidence on the prime minister when Parliament convenes on July 26 until Aug 2?” Hassan asked in a statement yesterday.
Zahid, endorsed by the Umno supreme council, announced on July 8 that Umno was withdrawing support for Muhyiddin with immediate effect.
However, it still remains unclear if Zahid has the majority support of Umno’s 38 MPs.
In response, the attorney-general stated that the determination of the majority cannot be done through statements but must be determined by MPs.
Meanwhile, Hassan also cited the attorney-general’s quote in his statement regarding Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution, which holds that Dewan Rakyat members must decide themselves whether someone enjoys the confidence of a majority of the MPs, and not through a statement by a political party or political party leader.
“I agree with the attorney-general’s reference to Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution. That is the current legal position.
“But the question is, how can we determine if the prime minister enjoys the confidence of the majority of MPs if a confidence vote is not held at the Dewan Rakyat?” he added.
Hassan further questioned if opposing MPs would be allowed to bring a vote of no confidence on the prime minister, in the event the government does not table one itself.
As Muhyiddin only commands a slim majority, a small number of the 38 Umno MPs defecting is enough to see the prime minister lose majority support.
Parliament is set to convene on July 26. – Malaysiakini