Thursday, August 12, 2021

If PM Resigns, and NO MP with confidence of majority - a CRUCIAL concern? Parliament Dissolved? Emergency Again? Elections delayed indefinitely?

Do we have any MP to be the NEW PM or are we facing a GENERAL ELECTIONS, if Muhyiddin no longer have the support of the MAJORITY of the Members of Parliament?

NEW Prime Minister - but the question is which MP has the confidence of the majority? Until now, there seems to be no one who has clearly the confidence of the majority...

The current government is a PN-BN Plus coalition government - as no single party has sufficient MPs to form a government on its own. 

Has UMNO withdrawn itself from this coalition government? Remember BN elected not be part of the registered PN.

This is CONFUSING - as the leadership of UMNO claims to have withdrawn support from the coalition government - if they have, then it becomes a PN Plus government...If MIC, MCA and other BN members have not, then what?

OR is it really that some UMNO MPs have only lost their confidence in Muhyiddin - but still in support of the existing COALITION - PN(BERSATU Plus PAS essentially) - UMNO-MCA-MIC-GPS-... If so, then what will happen is that the NEXT PM may be from the same present government - maybe Ismail Sabri, maybe Azmin Ali, maybe someone from PAS, >>> If that be the case, then will there really be any change in government save the exit of Muhyiddin as PM?

What happens when MUHYIDDIN has lost the support of the majority? No choice ask King to dissolve Parliament OR PM & Cabinet resigns

Art 43(4) If the Prime Minister ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives, then, unless at his request the Yang di-pertuan Agong dissolves Parliament, the Prime Minister shall tender the resignation of the Cabinet.

If current PM lost confidence of majority, 2 things can happen and it all depends of the KING

(1) Parliament Dissolved - and we will have GENERAL ELECTIONS within sixty(60) days(or is it 120 days??);


(2)   A NEW PRIME MINISTER - and a new Cabinet.

REMEMBER to appoint a NEW Prime Minister, then another MP must have the confidence of the majority of MPs - now 220, that means at least the support of 111 MPs.

43  Cabinet

(2) The Cabinet shall be appointed as follows, that is to say:

(a) the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall first appoint as Perdana Menteri (Prime Minister) to preside over the Cabinet a member of the House of Representatives who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that House; and

It seems some in UMNO have withdrawn their confidence in Muhyiddin(the current PM) - but many other UMNO MPs are still confident in Muhyiddin as PM.

So, what will happen if Muhyiddin RESIGN? Remember, he does not have to wait for Parliament, he can do it NOW


The King Dissolves Parliament - hence a General Elections

In the interim, the King appoints Muhyiddin (or some other) as an interim or caretaker Prime Minister


Now, because of the Covid-19 Pandemic, the 'interim PM'(still the PM) advises the King to proclaim new Emergency, and then comes out the relevant Emergency Ordinances - allowing the postponement of General Elections, maybe even indefinitely.... and how long this may last we can only wonder. Remember, such a Proclamation of Emergency has precedence as it has been done a few times to not have by-elections in Malaysia.

Remember, the KING cannot act on his own in Malaysia - he can only do as the Cabinet advises him..

So, we may then have a situation where Parliament is Dissolved, and a prolonged emergency postponing General Elections indefinitely...

Now, will the people protest such a move - many will not want to have any Elections(let alone a General Elections) for fear of the spread of Covid-19. Everyone knows what happened after the last Sabah election...We also accepted the delay in several past by-elections.

Then, as we note that there seems to be little done for the purposes of amending Election laws - to allow us to have Elections(or General Elections) in a 'safer' way even during a pandemic. Many other countries continued with their democratic elections - even that US Elections.

When Parliament had that recent special sitting, in my opinion, the most important was the tabling of the needed law(or amendment) which may include the Federal Constitution to ENABLE PARLIAMENT TO CONTINUE TO OPERATE AS USUAL ONLINE/VIRTUALLY - There are so many Apps available out there where Parliament(and its various Committees) could continue to function normally without the need for PHYSICAL PRESENCE in the Dewan Rakyat. But, alas not done

In the recent past sitting, only 80 MPs or so was allowed to be in the Dewan, whilst the rest of the 220 MPs were excluded - so, the the 'left outside' MPs really could not actively participate as MPs in the Dewan - was this FAIR - was that even a legitimate sitting? 

How did they even choose the MPs in the Dewan - if by drawing LOTS, it may be fair - MPs are wakil rakyat(peoples' representative) NOT party representatives - if party leaders chose, then it may not be right. The Cabinet, as of right, should be present - But Muhyiddin's Cabinet is large - 70(if not mistaken). 

HENCE, what is needed now is for the MPs to forward fast, and now - a name of an MP who has the confidence of the majority of the MPs, so the King has a person to appoint as PRIME MINISTER.

Muhyiddin said a Motion of Confidence will be tabled at the next Parliamentary sitting - WELL, Muhyiddin could very well RESIGN now.

A Motion of Confidence(or No Confidence) may be tabled - but will it be debated and voted on?  When? On the last day - and then Parliament closes early because Covid infections? Did Muhyiddin say that he will RESIGN if he loses the Motion of Confidence, or the Motion of No Confidence is carried.

Has the KING come out and state that he will take any result of such Motions as an indication that the PM and Cabinet have to resign?

The Constitution does not need a passed Motion of No Confidence, or a defeat of a Motion of Confidence as a determinant whether a sitting PM still has the confidence of the majority or not.

So, normally it through an 'out of Parliament procedure' - the acceptance of Statutory Declaration or letters [BUT, in Malaysia MPs change their position ever so fast]. Then, the King may meet all MPs.

A motion of confidence passed with less than 111 votes is meaningless - it is inconclusive. Likewise a motion of no confidence passed with less than 111 votes. 

By convention, what matters and forces a PM to resign is the non-passing of FINANCIAL BILLS - the Budget > but when it was tabled in end 2020, it all passed, did it not. So, we may have to wait for the tabling of the 2022 Budget?

A SECRET BALLOT IN A LARGE HALL - Until 1 MP emerges with the support of the majority 

Alternatively, maybe the KING should gather all 220 MPs in a LARGE HALL, and ask them to CAST SECRET BALLOTS - for us to determine which MP has the Confidence of the Majority....Why SECRET - so every MP will and vote freely - not because of any party pressure/orders. 

We may have to to have SEVERAL rounds of balloting until ONE emerges with the required MAJORITY to be appointed Prime Minister... This may be the BEST SOLUTION.

PM Muhyiddin thanks BN support, says King given nod to September vote of confidence

-A +A



KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 6): Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin expressed his gratitude to all Barisan Nasional (BN) Members of Parliament (MPs), including Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, for their support for the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government.

In a statement today, Muhyiddin also indicated that Yang di-Pertuan Agong had granted a decree for him to affirm his legitimacy as the prime minister through a vote of confidence in Dewan Rakyat next month. 

“I thank them (the BN MPs) for their stance where it is agreed that my legitimacy as the prime minister be determined in Parliament in September through a motion for a vote of confidence, and not through other means. 

“This is in line with the decree granted by Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong, which was given to me during the visit to Istana Negara on Wednesday,” Muhyiddin said.

“I hope the stand of these BN MPs will end the political polemics that are happening currently, and provide space for the government to put full focus towards efforts to overcome Covid-19, speed up the vaccination process and recover the nation’s economy.

“The interest of the rakyat and the country should be prioritised as we face this pandemic,” he added.

Earlier this afternoon, Ismail Sabri, who is also an Umno MP, chaired a press conference declaring the support of 31 MPs from BN towards Muhyiddin as the prime minister. BN is a component coalition of PN.

This was decided in the BN Supreme Council meeting earlier, Ismail Sabri said. He, however, did not comment on the possible implications of the decision, which is opposed to Umno’s prior decision to retract support for PN. 

Yesterday, Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said "more than eight Umno MPs" had signed statutory declarations confirming that they had pulled out of the PN coalition, letters of which will be delivered to the King soon. 

It is understood that before the clash between Umno and PN came out into the open last month, Muhyiddin's PN coalition comprised some 115 out of the 220 sitting MPs, including 41 from BN.

BN's 41 MPs comprise 38 from Umno, followed by two from MCA and one from MIC. However, Umno strongman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah last month asked not to be seated with the federal coalition.

The 14th Parliament session is set to convene on Sept 6. - Edge Markets, 6/8/2021




Once elections are called, a significant new power equation may come into place. Much will depend on the relationship between the King and the PM and the political realities of the day.

Appointment of a Caretaker PM: What is constitutionally relevant is that with the dissolution of the House, the PM and cabinet do not have a parliamentary majority to give them their democratic legitimacy. The Constitution is blissfully silent on who should advise the King during the interim between a dissolution and the convening of the new parliament – a period that can last up to 120 days under Article 55(4).

What is clear from the overall scheme of constitutional monarchy is that after a dissolution, the King cannot rule the country on his own. Even if he disapproves of the former PM and other leading political figures, the monarch must appoint a caretaker Prime Minister to advise him on such issues as the summoning of Parliament after a general election, the dissolution of parliament (if that becomes necessary after an electoral stalemate) and the piloting of the government in the interim period between dissolution and the appointment of a new government after elections.

In Article 43(1) there are fleeting and untested words to the effect that “if an appointment is made (to the posts of PM and cabinet) while Parliament is dissolved a person who was a member of the last House of Representatives may be appointed”. Do these words give to the King a discretion to ask the PM (who called the dissolution) to vacate the premiership? During the dissolution, can the King appoint a caretaker Prime Minister and cabinet of his choice under Article 43(2)?.26 The Constitution is not explicit on these issues. For this reason, we follow the Westminster convention that the PM who advised dissolution and his cabinet remain at the helm in a caretaker capacity till a new PM is appointed in the post-election era.

However, if the previous PM did not contest the election, or has withdrawn from politics, or has died, then the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s discretion to appoint a new caretaker PM27 is very wide. His Majesty is bound only by the requirement of Article 43(2) that the caretaker PM must be a member of the previous House. The caretaker may be the previous Deputy Prime Minister, or any other senior member from the ruling party before the election, or any respected figure from the previous Parliament.

Conventionally, a caretaker government should not take drastic initiatives and should merely keep the machinery of government going. In PP v Mohd Amin Mohd Razali [2002] 5 MLJ 406, the High Court opined that Article 40(1) which requires the monarch to act on advice is not applicable if the advice is rendered by a caretaker government during the dissolution. - extract from an article by Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi entitled 'Appointment of a Prime Minister'

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