Umno, not DAP, direspects Agong, says Anthony Loke

(MMO) – DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke has denied Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s claim that he had disrespected the King in pushing for the dissolution of Parliament to pave way for national polls.

The federal Opposition lawmaker said he has never disputed the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s discretionary powers and instead pointed out that Ismail Sabri has been pressured to call an early general election from his own party, Umno.

“I think that the PM’s statement today is actually intended for Umno leaders who have been pressuring him to dissolve Parliament.

“Except he can’t say that Umno doesn’t respect the Agong, so DAP has instead become a victim of Umno’s internal conflict,” Loke said on his Facebook page last night.

The Seremban MP clarified that he had been criticising the PM for his inconsistent message regarding GE15, but never pressed Ismail Sabri for a date regarding the dissolution of Parliament.

“I have never disputed that the power to dissolve Parliament lies with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. That is enshrined in our Federal Constitution,” he added.

Ismail Sabri told reporters here yesterday that the DAP was being disrespectful to the Agong in wishing for him to announce a date for GE15.

The PM said doing so would be usurping the Agong’s constitutional authority.

Loke had called Ismail Sabri inconsistent for sending mixed signals on the elections, first telling a Japanese publication last month that now is not the right time for Malaysia to have elections as the country is facing rising inflation, only to later claim he would not wait a second longer to dissolve Parliament if the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition were ready.

Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak were among the prominent politicians who told a recent BN convention that the coalition risked losing its advantage if a national election were pushed back.

Malaysia is not due for an election until September 2023.