AG says no necessity to legitimise PM’s appointment

There is no necessity to legitimise the appointment of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and a government that was formed in accordance with the law, Attorney-General Tan Sri Idrus Harun said today. 

In a statement, he said any move to legitimise the prime minister’s appointment is not in line with provisions of the Federal Constitution and negates the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s powers as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

“If the appointment of a new prime minister still needs validation by any party besides His Majesty, this would mean His Majesty’s absolute power can be overruled by other parties,” he said. 

He said Article 40 (2) (a) of the Federal Constitution, which gives His Majesty the discretionary power to appoint the prime minister, should be read together with Article 43 (2) (a) of the Federal Constitution in which the prime minister should be appointed among Dewan Rakyat members, who in His  Majesty’s judgment, is likely to command majority support. 

Idrus said it is clear that that the appointment of the prime minister is a constitutional responsibility and the absolute power of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.

Idrus said the procedure to determine whether an MP has commanded the majority backing of the House had already been decided by the King himself. 

“For that purpose, His Majesty had already granted an audience with major political party heads on August 17 in which 220 Dewan Rakyat members, through statutory declarations, were asked to state the Member of Parliament that received their support to become Prime Minister,” he said. 

 He said the names of their choice for future prime minister were then submitted to the Istana Negara on August 18.

Following this, His Majesty had granted audience to 114 MPs on Aug 19 to verify that Ismail Sabri, the Bera MP, was indeed their choice for prime minister.

Idrus said that on Aug 21, the new prime minister took his oath of office before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong according to Article 43(6) of the Federal Constitution.

“In line with the carefully and transparently conducted selection process by His Majesty to appoint the ninth prime minister, it is clear that Ismail Sabri’s appointment is legitimate and was done according to the  Federal Constitution,” he said. –BERNAMA