Speakers' Corner: Occasional contributions from readers, which do not necessarily reflect the views of Sarawak Report but may be published at the discretion of the site.

Consent Of The Minister Of Law

As a new occupant of the Chair in the Legislative Assembly the new Speaker may be forgiven for ignorance but, as with all Speakers, old and new, the invaluable Erskine May is at hand to point the way.

There he will find that whenever confidence in the government of the day is questioned on reasonable grounds the matter should be settled by a vote of confidence, or more exactly no confidence. Any government that fails to secure the confidence of Parliament must fall and attempts made to construct one that can secure confidence.

Nothing, despite the professed ignorance of the multi-tasked Speaker, is more important than the government having the confidence of a majority of the members of the Assembly. No matter what royal confidence a Prime Minister may enjoy for whatever reasons, if he does not have the confidence of the Assembly he must go, and at once.

That is not a matter in which the Agong has any role. It is only when a Prime Minister resigns or is defeated in a confidence vote that the Agong has the task of finding a new Prime Minister. A simple task if the government is defeated in a confidence motion as the leader of the Opposition that secured that defeat is there to take up the baton.

Unless, of course the Agong chooses to use the extraordinary power he enjoys under the Constitution to dissolve the Assembly on his own motion without advice. That power was lost to British Monarchs along with King Charles the First’s head and its re-appearance in Malaysia’s Federal Constitution remains to be explained either in Kuala Lumpur or London.

Such a dissolution at a time of national disruption from the Covid plague would be a act of irresponsibility on a par with that of Charles the First and must be unthinkable in this day and age and in the face of a major public heath emergency.

So, however distasteful it might be a defeat of the Muyhiddin government on a confidence motion must be followed by a request to the person who topped the list in the Agong’s own enquiries as to who should follow the petulant serial resigner PM7. Nothing else will do and a prudent King will act accordingly.

Your views are valuable to us, but Sarawak Report kindly requests that comments be deposited in suitable language and do not support racism or violence or we will be forced to withdraw them from the site.