Expect extreme politicking if Anwar loses vote of confidence, says expert

A constitutional law expert has warned that the country will see extreme politicking should Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim lose the vote of confidence when Parliament convenes on Dec 19.

(FMT) – Speaking at a forum organised by Taylors University, Shad Saleem Faruqi said the Federal Constitution states that Anwar has the option to resign if he loses the vote of confidence.

In this scenario, Shad said the King has the discretion to decide if another MP can command majority support in Parliament.

“In the meantime, the resigned prime minister may be asked to continue as a caretaker prime minister.

“Politicking will reach a feverish pitch,” he said.

Alternatively, Anwar could seek a dissolution of Parliament, paving the way for fresh elections.

“If the Yang di-Pertuan Agong refuses to dissolve Parliament, the possibilities and dilemmas are manifold.”

However, he said, the constitution provides “very little guidance” as to what should happen next should the King decide against consenting to the dissolution of Parliament, adding that one of a number of parliamentary conventions would likely apply.

This includes giving Anwar another chance to secure majority support, giving the opposition leader a chance to secure majority support, the formation of another unity government and the formation of a minority government among others.

Anwar has said he will test his majority in Parliament when it convenes on Dec 19.

This will be only the second time that a prime minister has done so in Malaysia.

The country’s third prime minister Hussein Onn proved his majority in Parliament after taking over from Abdul Razak Hussein following the latter’s death in office.