Failure to hold confidence vote would risk support deal with Opposition, Kit Siang tells Ismail Sabri

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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 — Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob would undermine a possible confidence-and-supply agreement with the Opposition if he does not validate his legitimacy to be the prime minister via a confidence vote in Parliament, said DAP’s Lim Kit Siang.

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The veteran DAP leader said Ismail Sabri would be committing a mistake in accepting Attorney General Tan Sri Idrus Harun’s advice that a confidence vote would be superfluous, noting that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has expressly advised that one be held.

“The Yang di-Pertuan Agong had decreed on August 18 that the new prime minister must seek a vote of confidence in Parliament as soon as possible to determine his legitimacy, that MPs should work together to focus on the Covid-19 response and economic recovery and that the winner does not win everything while the loser does not lose everything.

“It would be most unfortunate that it is the new prime minister who is jeopardising the government and the Opposition reaching a confidence-supply-reform understanding in accordance with the decree of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” Lim said in a statement today.

Previously, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim pledged not to “complicate” a confidence vote in Ismail Sabri provided the latter committed to pro-Malaysian policies and managed the Covid-19 pandemic well.

On Saturday, Idrus said Ismail Sabri need not call for a confidence vote notwithstanding the Agong’s previous remarks.

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Idrus said the appointment of Ismail Sabri on August 21 was valid and in line with Articles 40(2)(a) and 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution, as the Agong had already received statutory declarations from the 114 MPs backing the prime minister, and later held an audience with them.

This drew outrage from Opposition leaders who insisted that Idrus must resign over this advice, which they said was clearly against the Agong’s advice to Malaysia’s next prime minister prior to Ismail Sabri’s appointment.

Comptroller of the Royal Household Datuk Indera Ahmad Fadil Shamsuddin previously said that the Agong believed the confidence vote must be undertaken as it is the constitutional process for a prime minister to gain legitimacy.

Ismail was appointed as the prime minister to replace Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who resigned after the latter lost his parliamentary majority.-Malay Mail