15th Parliament session to ‘test’ Anwar’s legitimacy as PM

KUALA LUMPUR – The Dewan Rakyat sitting, the first under the Unity Government, starting Monday (Dec 19), is expected to attract a lot of attention as its main agenda includes the tabling of the vote of confidence for Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s (picture) leadership as the 10th Prime Minister.

The vote of confidence aims to prove that Anwar, who took his oath of office on Nov 24, has the support of MPs to lead the new government after the result of the 15th General Election (GE15) saw no political party or coalition managed to secure a simple majority to form the new federal government.

This vote of confidence has been listed as item Number 8 in the Order Paper.

Anwar’s legitimacy as Prime Minister is expected to be unchallenged following the Cooperation Agreement signed yesterday.

The four major political party coalitions – Pakatan Harapan (PH), Barisan Nasional (BN), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) – and Parti Warisan (Warisan) that form the Malaysian Unity Government signed the agreement to ensure political stability and drive the country’s economy.

The agreement, among other things, stated that MPs in the Unity Government who fail to vote or support the Prime Minister in motions relating to confidence votes, supply bills or procedural motions with effect on the federal government’s stability will be deemed to have resigned.

The First Session of the First Term of the 15th Parliament of Malaysia, scheduled for two days from Dec 19 will also witness the election of new Dewan Rakyat Speaker, the swearing-in of the elected MPs and the election of the Deputy Speakers.

On Dec 2, Tan Sri Azhar Azizan Harun said he will vacate his seat as Dewan Rakyat Speaker before the Parliament session.

Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul is said to be the frontrunner as the PH candidate for the post of Dewan Rakyat Speaker, according to media reports.

Former home minister Tan Sri Mohd Radzi Sheikh Ahmad is said to be Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) choice for the post.

Lanang MP Alice Lau of DAP and BN’s Cameron Highlands MP Ramli Mohd Nor were reported to be among the MPs nominated for the Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker’s posts.

PN’s Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin is also in the list.

Meanwhile, the approval on emoluments for civil servants would also be the first issue to be discussed at the Parliament session. – Bernama / pic TMR File