PETALING JAYA: An expert on constitutional law, former law professor Abdul Aziz Bari, has described as “bizarre” a contention made by the attorney-general that a confidence motion would erode the authority of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Aziz, now with DAP, and state opposition leader in Perak, said Malaysia’s third prime minister, Hussein Onn, had been subjected to a confidence motion in the Dewan Rakyat in 1976.
Since then, a confidence motion had become part of standard constitutional convention and practice, he said, even though a confidence motion to confirm a prime minister’s position was not required in law.
Aziz said Attorney-General Idrus Harun’s contention that the motion would affect the King’s authority was “bizarre and questionable”, and said the King himself had urged that Ismail Sabri Yaakob subject himself to confirmation through a confidence motion.
Idrus should support a motion which would nurture the country’s constitutional process, Aziz said.
Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim of PKR said Ismail’s legitimacy would be questioned, as with his predecessor, Muhyiddin Yassin, if he failed to subject himself to a confidence vote.
Ismail “will be seen as a leader who is afraid of his own shadow,” Hassan said.