Idrus Harun’s remarks unfortunate: Vote of confidence needed for political legitimacy

MPs are obliged to test the strength of the prime minister through a confidence vote in Parliament

Aliran condemns Attorney General Idrus Harun’s misrepresentation regarding a vote of confidence in the new prime minister, which is expected to be held in the coming parliamentary sitting.

Idrus insists such a vote would undermine the Agong’s power.

This is misleading: it was the Agong who said Parliament should hold such a vote as soon as possible to show that the new prime minister has indeed gained the trust of the majority of MPs.

MPs are obliged to test the strength of the prime minister through a confidence vote. Such a motion should be a priority so that Parliament can establish the legitimacy of the government and ensure political stability.

A confidence vote is also essential as the current cabinet line-up is mainly the same people who were in the cabinet of former Prime Minister Mahiaddin Yasin, who lost the confidence of the majority of MPs.  

It would be unfortunate if Idrus’ intervention has the effect of not inspiring public confidence in the government of the Prime Minister, Ismail Sabri Yaakob. Already it is reminiscent of Mahiaddin’s prolonged avoidance of a vote of confidence to the extent that his administration even suspended Parliament.

We call on Ismail Sabri to keep to the convention of holding a vote of confidence for new prime ministers in mid-term, as was the case after Hussein Onn took over following the passing of Abdul Razak Hussein.

Aliran executive committee
5 September 2021
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