Spanner in Ismail Sabri’s likely appointment as prime minister

THE Yang di-Pertuan Agong is the constitutional authority to appoint a prime minister. The constitution, however, mandates the king to appoint a member of the Dewan Rakyat who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Dewan.

Likely means probably or in all probability.

The judgment is that of the king. His Majesty alone is to judge that a lawmaker is likely to command the confidence of the majority of MPs.

But surely the confidence of the MPs in the majority must be absolute, unqualified, unconditional or unequivocal. It must be without strings attached.

The reason is immediate – it is the appointed prime minister who is to advise the king to appoint ministers to form a cabinet. This is the term used in Article 43(1) of the federal constitution. The cabinet in turn is to advise the king in the exercise of his functions.

In the case of Dato’ Sri Anwar bin Ibrahim v Public Prosecutor (2000), Court of Appeal president Lamin Mohd Yunus (as he then was) speaking for the Court of Appeal said:

“[A] Minister other than the Prime Minister holds office at the pleasure of the Prime Minister. In actual terms, he holds office at the pleasure of the Prime Minister.”

This means that the prime minister may appoint and revoke his appointment at any time. Of course, formality demands that the appointment and revocation of his appointment shall be acted upon by the king “on the advice of the prime minister”.

The king must act on such advice of the prime minister. But a prime minister is one who commands unconditional confidence of the majority of the MPs.

Until and unless the confidence is unconditional, the prime minister-designate is likely NOT to have the support of the majority of the MPs.

Now, Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyiddin Yassin yesterday said the support of his coalition’s 54 MPs is not unconditional.

In other words, the prime minister-designate will not be at his pleasure to advise the king to appoint a minister.

It is a spanner in the likely appointment of Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the ninth prime minister. – August 20, 2021.

* Hafiz Hassan reads The Malaysian Insight.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight.

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  • This IS bolehland at it's and make more deals for all selfish reasons and let the Rakyat suffer....selfish MPs who wanted all for themselves only......and their family. I feel no Maps from UMNO should helm the top position as UMNO has shown from all their years as self, self and self....

    Posted 3 months ago by Crishan Veera · Reply

  • It all boils down to Tuanku sole discretion. May I add that Tuanku should also take into consideration the likelihood of which party can form a more stable and lasting govt.

    The answer is obvious, the PN govt collapse in 17 months only and these are the identical people hoping to have a second chance.

    Posted 3 months ago by Super Duper · Reply