By The Star
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is allowed to maintain the status quo and there is no need for him to resign even if he admits to losing the majority support of MPs, claims constitutional lawyer Edmund Bon.
The Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights (MCCHR) director said Muhyiddin need not tender his resignation unless he calls for polls and the King rejects this or another MP steps forward to claim the majority and it is agreed to by the King.
“No need for PM to resign even if he admits to losing (the) majority unless (i) he calls for polls and King rejects or (ii) an MP steps forward to claim majority and King agrees. Status quo for (the) moment,” he said in a Twitter post Saturday (Aug 14).
Bon said that any MP is free to prove before the King that he or she has the majority to become the Prime Minister and that there are no circumstances stopping them from doing that now.
He said that once the MP who has secured the support of the majority has been consented to by the King, then the sitting Prime Minister could resign or seek dissolution of the Parliament.
If this is refused, then the incumbent Prime Minister is deemed to have resigned and a new Prime Minister will be appointed, he said.
“Once the MP with majority is accepted by the King, (the) current PM may resign or seek dissolution and if refused, is deemed to have resigned. New PM will be appointed.
“Irrelevant to (the) appointment of (a) new PM whether incumbent is in office or not now, according to the Federal Court decision in Nizar,” he said.
Bon was referring to the lawsuit brought by former Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin against Umno’s Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir, which was decided by the Federal Court in 2010.
It was popularly known as the Perak constitutional crisis, caused by the defection of three lawmakers from the then Pakatan Rakyat coalition who went on to pledge their support for Barisan Nasional, leading to an end of the state government led by Nizar.
Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, refused Nizar’s request to dissolve the state assembly and call for new elections.
Instead, Barisan formed a new state government with support from the three defecting assemblymen.
The Barisan state government’s legitimacy and the Sultan’s decision not to dissolve the state assembly was disputed vehemently by Pakatan Rakyat, leading to a series of court battles.
In 2010, the Federal Court confirmed that Zambry was the lawful Menteri Besar.