KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 14): The Malaysian Bar has called on Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to step down after admitting that several Members of Parliament (MPs) from the governing coalition had withdrawn their support for him, casting doubt on whether he still commanded the support of the majority of the Dewan Rakyat.
This, according to Malaysian Bar president AG Kalidas, is in accordance with the Federal Constitution as stipulated in the provision of Article 43(4).
The article states that: "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."
In a statement today, Kalidas explained: "The words are clear and the meaning and intent are beyond doubt: If the Prime Minister no longer has the support of the majority, unless at his request the Yang di-Pertuan Agong dissolves Parliament, the Prime Minister must resign."
"The Federal Constitution also does not provide that the Prime Minister shall only tender the resignation of the Cabinet if there is another MP that has emerged who can demonstrate that he/she commands the confidence of the majority of the members of the Dewan Rakyat."
Kalidas went on to argue that the question of who else might be called upon to try to form a government and whether he or she has the requisite Parliamentary support and confidence, is one that is accorded to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, as per Article 43(2) of the Federal Constitution.
"It is therefore not the place of the Prime Minister to usurp that consideration to himself, or to pre-empt the decision and discretion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Neither is it the place of the Prime Minister to make that question the condition for his future actions," he said.
Kalidas was referring to Muhyiddin's national address yesterday which said that he did not resign as prime minister because no other MPs can prove they have the majority instead.
Muhyiddin yesterday acknowledged that under the current circumstances where his legitimacy is being questioned, he had two options according to the Federal Constitution — namely to seek the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament and call for a general election, or to resign.
"The Malaysian Bar is of the view that the best way that the Prime Minister can begin the process of healing this nation and bringing back its glory, is to honour and respect the words, spirit, meaning and intent of the Federal Constitution, and to abide strictly by its provisions.
"When the Prime Minister does not command the support of the majority of the Dewan Rakyat, the honourable and gracious route that the Prime Minister should take is to step down, because that is the right thing to do," Kalidas added.
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