Kit Siang: AG playing politics with ‘no need confidence vote’ advice to Ismail

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The question now is whether Ismail is going to disregard the decree of the Agong.

The attorney-general’s (AG) advice that Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob need not face a confidence vote in Parliament is “all politics and no law”, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang said.

The Iskandar Puteri MP reminded Attorney-General Idris Harun and Ismail that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has in fact decreed that the new prime minister should test his legitimacy with a vote in the Dewan Rakyat.

“Attorney-General Idris Harun should not stray into the political minefield but should keep strictly to his role as legal adviser of the government,” Lim said in a statement tonight.

“His statements that a vote of confidence is not necessary as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has already appointed Ismail Sabri as prime minister and that a vote of confidence would undermine the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s power are all politics and no law.”

He was responding to the AG’s statement today that the king was already satisfied that Ismail had majority support with 114 MPs out of 220, and that further calls for a confidence vote would undermine the king’s sole discretion.

Lim highlighted the king’s decree in a press statement issued by Istana Negara on August 18, in which the monarch said he had met the heads and representatives of political parties on August 17 and told them that whoever becomes the new prime minister must face a confidence vote in the Dewan Rakyat.

“With such a royal decree, the attorney-general’s contention that ‘if the appointment of a new prime minister still needs legitimacy from anyone besides His Majesty, this means His Majesty’s sole discretion can be overruled by others’, collapses,” he said.

Lim asked if Ismail is afraid that his majority of 114 MPs has “disappeared” so soon after being sworn in as prime minister on August 21.

“The question now is whether Ismail Sabri is going to disregard the decree of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” he said.

“It should be noted that both the third prime minister, Hussein Onn, and the fifth prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, sought a vote of confidence from the majority of MPs in their first acts in Parliament.

“Why is Ismail Sabri afraid to prove that he has the confidence of the majority of MPs when Parliament meets on September 14?” – TMI

Related report: Sept 4, AG: No need for confidence vote on Ismail Sabri