PETALING JAYA: Until the vote is cast on the floor that the MPs have lost confidence in Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, he remains the Prime Minister and the government stays intact, says former Federal Court judge Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.
He said on the other hand, if the Prime Minister receives a vote of confidence from the majority of the MPs in Dewan Rakyat, then it would be difficult to remove him constitutionally.
“The Prime Minister does not have to resign if he believes he has the confidence of the majority of the MPs,” said Sri Ram when contacted.
Sri Ram, who has 800 judgements under him, said that unless there is a vote of no-confidence against Muhyiddin, or unless he resigns, nothing will happen.
He also said that even though Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, in announcing the retraction of Umno support for Perikatan Nasional, has repeatedly mentioned Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah, the Palace is not duty bound to do anything, according to the Federal Constitution.
“As of now, the Istana needs to do nothing, as a vote ousting Muhyiddin did not take place on the floors of the Parliament. This announcement of withdrawal of support happened outside the august House.
“Until the vote is cast on the floor that the MPs have lost confidence in Muhyiddin, he remains the Prime Minister and the government stays intact.
“Should a vote of no-confidence be given to Muhyiddin, only then is the King duty-bound to tell the PM to resign.
“If the PM refuses to resign, then he can advise the King to dissolve the Parliament.
“However, the King has the right to refuse a dissolution, and then the PM and the Cabinet must resign,” said Sri Ram.
He also said that if the King wants to avoid a general election, then he can appoint an MP he believes to command a majority from the MPs.
“This person then will be appointed as the PM and he can then form the Cabinet. When Parliament convenes, the new PM then can test his majority on the floor of Dewan Rakyat, but only if he wants to.
“At the end, the proof of the announcement by the Umno President is in the pudding, and the pudding here is the vote on the floor of the Dewan Rakyat,” said Sri Ram.
He was asked to comment on the announcement on Wednesday (Aug 4) by Muhyiddin that he will not resign and will move a vote of confidence in Parliament in September to prove he has the majority of the MPs with him.