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

(MMO) – 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 Idris 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.

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.

However, two lawyers Malay Mail contacted previously agreed that a confidence vote was superfluous as Article 43 of the Federal Constitution gave the Agong the discretion to appoint a prime minister who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of MPs.

They said the Agong’s appointment of Ismail Sabri required no further validation such as the proposed confidence vote.

Ismail Sabri was appointed as the PM after 114 federal lawmakers submitted statutory declarations endorsing him, more than the 112 needed for a simple majority in Parliament.