Kit Siang: Why didn’t AG say Agong already gave consent to skip confidence vote?

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Comparing the reason cited by Wan Junaidi and the statement by AG Idrus Harun on the confidence vote.

Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun should have disclosed from the outset that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong consented to foregoing a confidence vote on the prime minister, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang said today.

The DAP leader said it did not make sense for the AG to argue against the confidence vote on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob if the Agong, who proposed the matter, was of the view that it was no longer necessary.

“[Why] was it not stated right from the very beginning instead of the most bizarre statement by Idrus last Saturday arguing the most ridiculous point that a vote of confidence would undermine the Agong’s powers to appoint a prime minister in accordance with the Malaysian Constitution?” Lim said in a statement today.

Yesterday, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Parliament) Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the Agong has given his consent for Ismail Sabri to forego the confidence vote.

According to him, this was conveyed during the weekly cabinet meeting.

The confidence vote had been expected when Parliament reconvened next week as the Agong previously said one must be undertaken as it is the constitutional process for a prime minister to gain legitimacy.

The Agong’s remark on the need for the confidence vote was made prior to his appointment of Ismail Sabri as the prime minister.

Ismail Sabri’s support in the Dewan Rakyat is fragile due to internal Umno tensions with party president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s faction.

Pakatan Harapan chairperson Anwar Ibrahim had assured that the opposition coalition would not complicate matters during a vote of confidence if the prime minister’s policies are pro-rakyat.

Parliament is set to convene on Sept 13.

Elaborating further, Lim said the only reason the government is shunning the confidence motion was that Ismail Sabri feared he would not be able to secure the support of 114 MPs in the confidence vote.

“He can avoid a confidence motion, but can he avoid votes in Parliament amounting to votes on his legitimacy as prime minister – whether on Sept 23 on the motion of thanks for the royal address, on Oct 7 on the 12th Malaysia Plan, the 2022 Budget or the various bills?

“Can we ensure an end to the political maelstrom and uncertainty in Parliament and a new-found unity of purpose to win the losing war against the Covid-19 pandemic to reset the country with parliamentary and institutional reforms for economic and national recovery for the next 12 to 18 months until the next general election?”

The DAP stalwart added that the possible confidence-supply-reform agreement between the government and the opposition suffered a grievous blow as the government decided not to put up a motion of confidence in the upcoming Dewan Rakyat sitting.