PH accuses Mahathir of pre-empting Agong on future PM

Top leaders of Pakatan Harapan parties say Dr Mahathir Mohamad pre-empted the Agong in announcing that there is no clear majority achieved by political blocs to form the next government. (Twitter pic)

PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Harapan’s remaining three parties today accused Dr Mahathir Mohamad of pre-empting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong after the interim prime minister revealed that the king has yet to decide on who commands the majority to form the next government.

“The announcement by the interim prime minister that a parliamentary session will be called to elect a new prime minister amounts to challenging the rights and powers of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong,” the coalition’s presidential council said tonight after an emergency meeting.

It was a response to Mahathir’s announcement today that the next prime minister may have to be decided on March 2 during a special session of the Dewan Rakyat.

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Mahathir who met the Agong today also revealed that there is no clear majority established on the formation of the next government.

“The King has asked all MPs. They have made statutory declarations but he is not sure, so he wants them to make another statement.

“He cannot find anyone with a distinct majority,” he told reporters today after announcing the economic stimulus package at the Prime Minister’s Office here.

PH said the appointment of the prime minister is solely the discretion of the Agong as stated in Article 40(2)(a) of the federal constitution.

“It is public knowledge that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is scheduled to meet Malay rulers to discuss the issue. The presidential council urges all parties to respect the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s discretion and authority in this matter,” it added.

Meanwhile, PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said MPs have not been notified on the March 2 special session of the Dewan Rakyat.

“As an MP, I have not received any official notice. We have to wait for instructions from the Speaker,” he told reporters at a hotel here where the PH presidential council met earlier.

“We have also not heard anything from Istana,” said Fahmi.

Fahmi said today’s meeting was specifically about addressing the issue of the statement made by the interim prime minister.

“We didn’t discuss the unity government (proposed by Mahathir) today.

“We have not discussed it at the PH Presidential Council as well. I’m sure it will be discussed in the coming days.”