DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng has accused Ismail Sabri Yaakob of making a series of U-turns, adding that the prime minister's claim that he had been "joking" when he said he could have sacked 12 Cabinet ministers who disagreed with the holding of snap polls amounted to a mockery of the Federal Constitution.
"Sacking ministers and dissolving Parliament are grave and serious acts that involve the King and are provided for in the Federal Constitution. Both actions should be people-centric to improve their livelihoods and done in the better interests of the nation, not trifled with irresponsibly as a joke," Lim said in a statement, a day after Ismail responded to a challenge by a Bersatu minister to sack all Cabinet members from Perikatan Nasional (PN).
Special functions minister Abdul Latiff Ahmad had hit out at Ismail over his remark that he could have sacked the ministers who wrote to the Agong, voicing their disagreement with Umno's move to press for an election this year, citing warnings on the monsoon and flood season by the meterological department.
Latiff said there was no need to sack them, adding that they were prepared to resign.
But Ismail said he had only been joking, pointing out that the dissenting ministers were still part of the caretaker Cabinet.
"No one can understand the strange logic of Ismail that the fact that the 12 PN ministers are still in the Cabinet means he was merely kidding," Lim said.
He added that Ismail had been "confused" and "dishonest" when he blamed the 12 ministers for forcing him to dissolve Parliament, following months of pressure from Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
"Then on Oct 12, he made a U-turn by saying he did not blame the 12 PN ministers for sending the letter to the King because they were only following orders from their party leaders."
Lim said Ismail's flip-flops called into question his fitness for the top office.
"This reminds me of the chorus of an old Rod Stewart song, 'I was only joking'," Lim added.