‘Legitimacy of govt intact’

KUALA LUMPUR: The legitimacy of the government is not affected by the letter sent to the King by 12 Cabinet ministers from Perikatan Nasional stating their opposition to the general election being held this year, says the Prime Minister.

Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said any loss of confidence on the prime minister, as stipulated under the Federal Constitution, was only when MPs retracted their support for him.

“Then the government will collapse as what happened to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, and the government will change. That was why all in the last Cabinet had to step down.

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“If the support of the Dewan Rakyat is still intact, there is no question of change (of the prime minister) and there is no issue of the government collapsing,” he said in response to those who questioned his legitimacy as head of government following the letter sent to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong by the 12 ministers on Oct 5.

Ismail Sabri said there were some who had made remarks which were not based on the Federal Constitution, adding that this caused confusion among the people.

He reiterated that what was paramount was the support he enjoyed from the majority of MPs in the Dewan Rakyat, which was the basis of him remaining as the Prime Minister.

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“The 12 ministers merely wrote to the King requesting that Parliament not be dissolved now.

“However, the power of dissolution is a matter between the prime minister and Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“The letter had no effect on the legitimacy of the government or the prime minister, as the (majority of) MPs are still in support of the Prime Minister,” he told reporters after attending the National Maulidur Rasul celebration at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur here yesterday.

Ismail Sabri pointed out that none of the 12 ministers had resigned.

“Even if they did, I can always appoint their replacements. The Cabinet can still function and the government will still be functional,” he added.

The letter by the 12 Perikatan ministers from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia and PAS petitioned the King not to agree to snap election this year, citing the fear of floods and disruptions to the national economy.

PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who is Environment and Water Minister, revealed that the letter was sent after a meeting of all Perikatan component parties.

Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri is said to have had another audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong yesterday following his meeting with the King on Thursday.

There was no official confirmation as to what was discussed during their latest meeting. The King and Queen are due to leave for London on a week-long visit.

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