Any MP who can prove majority support to be PM is free to submit it to the King, says law minister

KUALA LUMPUR: Any MP who can submit proof to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that they have the majority support of the House to become the next premier can do so, says Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan (pic).

The Minister in the Prime Minister's Department said the decision to appoint a prime minister is the prerogative of the King.

"The Yang di-Pertuan Agong can determine, through any suitable means, to decide on an individual, whom in the opinion of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, has received the majority support among Dewan Rakyat members.

“This includes by receiving any documents submitted or by getting verbal or written statements from every MP," said Takiyuddin in his reply to Hassan Abdul Karim (PH-Pasir Gudang) during the Ministerial Question Time in Parliament on Thursday (Dec 10).

Hassan had asked when the 25 motions of no-confidence and the two confidence motions against Pagoh MP Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, as the Prime Minister, will be tabled, debated and voted in the Dewan Rakyat.

Takiyuddin, the de facto Law Minister, said that former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad was appointed the nation's seventh premier after Pakatan Harapan won 135 out of the 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat.

However, Dr Mahathir submitted his registration on Feb 24,2020 and subsequently on March 1, Muhyiddin, who had received the support of 114 MPs, was appointed the eighth prime minister.

"Following that, Port Dickson MP (Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) then claimed he had enough support to become the next prime minister and the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had even granted him a royal audience in October.

"However, I would like to read a statement issued by Istana Negara (then), which read that the Port Dickson MP did not produce a list of names of those backing him.

"As such, the King advised the Opposition leader to obey and respect the due process of the law as per the Federal Constitution," said Takiyuddin.

He argued that the appointment of Muhyiddin cannot be questioned as it had followed due process.

Takiyuddin also said some Opposition MPs had claimed that if Budget 2021 was not approved, then it was a reflection that the Prime Minister has lost the confidence of the House.

"But Budget 2021 was approved (at the policy stage) and this has been recorded in the House.

"Therefore, the question of whether if YB Pagoh has a reduced or has lost the majority support of the House does not arise.

"However, the government has no qualms if anyone wants to submit any form of support among MPs to become the ninth prime minister.

"We are open if any MP can provide a statutory declaration to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and if there are more than 111 MPs (signing the declaration), then we will abide by it as this is the process of democracy," said Takiyuddin.

He also said that currently, there is no urgency to expedite the no-confidence and confidence motions against the Prime Minister to be tabled, debated and voted in the House as government matters take priority.

The Kota Baru MP said although there is no obstruction for any lawmaker to submit a motion of confidence or no-confidence against the Prime Minister, these motions are also bound by the Dewan Rakyat Standing Order.

Standing Orders 14 and 15 state that government business shall have precedence over private member's business.

"As there are no elements to show that YB Pagoh has lost the confidence of the House, therefore the motions need not be expedited," he said.

Takiyuddin said the motions however will remain in the Order Paper.

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