KUALA LUMPUR: The letter from the dozen Cabinet Ministers who wrote to the King has no effect on the legitimacy of the Prime Minister or the government, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
He said that those who have no knowledge of the Federal Constitution are out to confuse the people as he still had the support of the majority of members of Parliament (MPs) in the Dewan Rakyat, as required under the constitution.
"The 12 ministers merely wrote a letter to the King requesting that the Parliament not be dissolved now.
"However, the power of dissolution is between the Prime Minister and the King - the letter has no effect on the legitimacy of the government or the Prime Minister, as the MPs are still in support of the Prime Minister as before," said Ismail Sabri.
He was speaking to the media after attending the National Maulidur Rasul celebrations at the World Trade Centre here on Sunday (9 Oct) in conjunction with Prophet Muhammad's birthday.
Ismail Sabri was asked to comment on a few quarters, including Umno secretary general Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan, who raised the question of the govt's legitimacy after 12 Perikatan Cabinet ministers sent a letter to the King requesting that there be no snap polls this year so that they could focus on pending floods and economic recovery.
However, Perikatan Nasional secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin had denied that this was the case.
Hamzah told reporters on Saturday (Oct 8) that Perikatan Nasional had not withdrawn support for the Prime Minister and the letter had been sent to protest Umno's push for polls.
"The loss of confidence under the Federal Constitution is only when the MPs in Dewan Rakyat retract their support for the Prime Minister," said Ismail Sabri.
"Many do not understand the Federal Constitution and these people who have no knowledge talk and confuse the masses.
"Support for the Prime Minister is support from the MPs in Dewan Rakyat.
"If they retract that support and there are less than 112 MPs supporting the Prime Minister, and there is only a simple majority, then the government will collapse as what happened to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin the last round and the government will change.
"That was why the last Cabinet had to step down.
"If the support of the Dewan Rakyat is still intact, there is no question of change in the support and there is no issue of the government collapsing.
"There is no quorum in the Cabinet. If a minister writes a letter and retracts himself from the Cabinet, it does not mean he has resigned.
"If he has resigned, the Cabinet can still function and the government is still a functional one. The Prime Minister can then appoint a new minister," said Ismail Sabri.
In recent days, Perikatan ministers had voiced their opposition to snap polls during the North-East monsoon, despite Ismail Sabri's party Umno pushing for early general elections this year.