Muhyiddin Yassin’s appointment as PM still has to be confirmed by a majority of members of Parliament, writes Ravinder Singh.
Pas president Hadi Awang wants Malaysians, especially members of Parliament, to believe that Muhyiddin Yassin’s appointment as Prime Minister by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is cast in stone and therefore should not be questioned.
A local daily (The Star, 7 March 2020) reported:
He [Hadi] also advised against pushing for a vote of no confidence against the Prime Minister in Parliament as the rakyat would judge those who pushed for such a motion.
Muhyiddin was appointed as an interim prime minister. His appointment is not final and beyond question. The letter of appointment made this clear, as according to the Constitution, the king “shall… appoint a member of the House of Representatives who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House”.
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For Hadi’s benefit, in Malay, Article 43(2)(a) states: “Yang di-Pertuan Agong hendaklah terlebih dahulu melantik sebagai Perdana Menteri untuk mempengerusikan Jemaah Menteri seorang ahli Dewan Rakyat yang pada hematnya mungkin mendapat kepercayaan majoriti ahli Dewan Rakyat.”
The Agong’s appointment is therefore interim and needs to be confirmed by a majority of the members of the House. The king, contrary to what Hadi wants people to believe, would actually be relieved (akan berasa lega) when a vote of confidence is taken, whichever way it goes.
The politicians, Hadi included, created a difficult situation for the Agong. Unlike in an election, where voters give a majority to a particular party, which then presents its PM candidate to the Agong, the candidate this time was chosen by horse-trading, which has not yet ended.
The Agong had to appoint someone as he could not leave the country running on autopilot without a head. So he appointed Muhyiddin, who he believed had majority support at the time, with a silent proviso that the appointment is subject to confirmation by the House. Hadi should not use his “religious” standing to mislead people about this.
If nearing the sitting of Parliament, Hadi feels that a vote of confidence might go against Muhyiddin, should we then be surprised if he ‘upgrades’ his caution to say that it is a sin to vote against the PM appointed by the Agong and those who do so would be judged by God?