The top leaders of Pakatan Harapan have again accused the attorney-general of committing “derhaka” (treason) against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, in the wake of a statement explaining why there is no need for a confidence motion in the prime minister at the coming Dewan Rakyat sitting.
The three leaders – Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Guan Eng and Mohamad Sabu – said a confidence vote had been requested by the Agong when he confirmed Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s appointment last month, adding that such a vote had precedence in the past.
“Pakatan Harapan calls for the resignation of the AG as he not only committed derhaka against His Majesty but has also betrayed the Federal Constitution and parliamentary democracy,” the trio said.
Attorney-General Idrus Harun had said there was no need to legitimise the appointment of Ismail as prime minister or his government as it was established according to law.
He said any requirement for further validation would undermine the authority of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in the matter.
“This move would not be in line with the provisions of the Federal Constitution and would deny the authority of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong as enshrined in the constitution,” he said.
Ismail was appointed to the country’s top office following a rigorous process by Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah to determine which of the MPs possessed the majority support.
He was sworn in with the backing of 114 out of 220 MPs.
The PH leaders said Idrus’ statement went against the decree of the Agong to party leaders during the audiences at Istana Negara on Aug 17.
“As contained in the palace’s media statement on Aug 18, His Majesty said that ‘the prime minister who has been appointed by the king according to Articles 40 (2)(a) and 43 (2)(a) of the Federal Constitution shall as soon as possible submit a confidence vote in the Dewan Rakyat to legitimise him as having the confidence of the majority of members in the House.
“His Majesty’s statement was also emphasised by the deputy Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and the need for a confidence vote was agreed on by all party leaders,” they said.
They said such votes had been held on Jan 27, 1976, 12 days after Hussein Onn was appointed as prime minister to replace Abdul Razak, and on Nov 3, 2003, three days after Abdullah Ahmad Badawi replaced Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
“Therefore, the Presidential Council considers the statement of the attorney-general on behalf of this government as rude, against the spirit of the constitution, and treason towards His Majesty.
“This is also the second time the attorney-general has committed treason against the king, which is very disappointing. He is not fit to hold the office of the attorney-general,” they said.