Bar calls for Mahathir to be sworn-in fast

Bar Council president George Varughese says the rule of law must be upheld. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Bar Council has urged that Dr Mahathir Mohamad be appointed Prime Minister without delay as the country had been without a government since the general election concluded last night.

Bar president George Varughese said Mahathir had been nominated by the four political parties in the Pakatan Harapan coalition as their candidate to be appointed prime minister.

“The official election results showed that the number of MPs from PH and its political allies was “clearly in excess of the 112 required to obtain a simple majority”.

Dr Mahathir was invited to Istana Negara this afternoon for an audience with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. At press time, he was still at the palace. No statement on his position has yet been issued.

Varughese said any delay would lead to unnecessary rumours and speculation, which the nation could ill afford.

“The rule of law must prevail at all times,” he said.

At yesterday’s general election Pakatan Harapan, comprising PKR, DAP, PPBM and Amanah, won 113 seats in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat, with its allies winning 12 more. Barisan Nasional won 79 seats and PAS 18.

Varughese said the support for Mahathir fulfilled the constitutional requirement that the person chosen must command the confidence of the majority of the Dewan Rakyat members. He said Mahathir had also confirmed that MPs of Pakatan Harapan and its allies had also signed a declaration endorsing him.

He said the Bar commended Mahathir’s statement that his new government intended to restore the rule of law. “The Bar would work with the incoming government to uphold the rule of law, defend the fundamental freedoms and rights of every Malaysian,” he said.