The Yang di-Pertuan Agong told Ismail Sabri Yaakob that a vote of confidence was no longer needed, the minister in charge of law has revealed.
Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said the prime minister had said this during the first Cabinet meeting last week.
The revelation comes two days after Pakatan Harapan (PH) leaders insisted that a confidence vote in Ismail be convened at the coming sitting of the Dewan Rakyat, while accusing Attorney-General Idrus Harun of committing “treason” for saying such a vote was no longer needed.
Speaking at a press conference in Putrajaya, Wan Junaidi referred to provisions in the Federal Constitution allowing the king to appoint as prime minister the MP whom he believes possesses the support of the majority of MPs.
Adding that 114 of the 220 MPs had voiced their support for Ismail, he said it was unlikely that they would have changed their minds so soon.
He said the Agong’s consent had been based on these grounds.
On Sept 4, Idrus said there was no need to legitimise the appointment of Ismail in the Dewan Rakyat, adding that it could undermine the authority of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in the matter.
The next day, PH leaders demanded Idrus’ resignation, saying he had “betrayed the Federal Constitution and parliamentary democracy”.
The coalition’s three leaders referred to a statement issued by Istana Negara on Aug 18, prior to the Agong’s confirmation of Ismail as prime minister.
A day after Muhyiddin Yassin stepped down as prime minister, the 220 MPs were told they had until 4pm on Aug 18 to submit individually signed letters on their choice of the next prime minister.
On Aug 18, the palace said a confidence vote should be held later in the Dewan Rakyat in order to reaffirm the MPs’ support for the new leader.
However, the palace did not repeat the request when it declared Ismail the victor on Aug 20, following a meeting of the Malay rulers hosted by Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah.