Backdoor govt legal, doesn’t betray the rakyat’s mandate, claims academic

Malaysia
IIUM law lecturer Assoc Prof Shamrahayu Ab Aziz said that tabling a vote of confidence for the prime minister’s leadership in Parliament is allowed under the provisions of the Constitution. — Picture by Miera Zulyana
IIUM law lecturer Assoc Prof Shamrahayu Ab Aziz said that tabling a vote of confidence for the prime minister’s leadership in Parliament is allowed under the provisions of the Constitution. — Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 — The formation of a “backdoor government” does not betray the mandate given by the people to Pakatan Harapan (PH), International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) law lecturer Assoc Prof Shamrahayu Ab Aziz has said.

As reported by Sinar Harian, she also said that tabling a vote of confidence for the prime minister’s leadership in Parliament is allowed under the provisions of the Constitution.

It is also found in the practice guidelines of Commonwealth countries and has been practised by the United Kingdom government before, she added.

“The move to get a vote of confidence among MPs (in the UK) was made following a Bill that the government wanted to introduce in 1993 but was not passed in Parliament.

“As for the establishment of a new coalition government, it is not in violation of the Federal Constitution and certainly does not violate the mandate and trust of the people if it is implemented,” she said during Sinar Harian’s forum titled “Future Steps Through the National Unity Government” in Shah Alam yesterday.

Other panellists included Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) academic, Syed Agil Al Sagoff; former Election Commission deputy chairman, Datuk Seri Wan Ahmad Wan Omar; and former inspector-general of police (IGP), Tan Sri Musa Hassan.

After their central leadership meeting last week, PAS announced its intention to table the motion on the grounds that it would clear any doubt over the transition of power between Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and PKR President Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

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The Islamist party had claimed the purported uncertainty was adversely affecting the national economy and hindering the prime minister from carrying out his duties.

Earlier this month, a Singapore daily reported that Umno may throw its backing behind Dr Mahathir to serve out a full-term in an attempt to prevent Anwar’s succession to the seat of power.

However, Dr Mahathir denied the rumours, saying his party, Bersatu, is working with both Umno and PAS to form a new government that will replace PH.

On Thursday, after a meeting with Dr Mahathir, Anwar said that the prime minister had no part in a purported conspiracy to prevent him from taking the top job.

Anwar said he acknowledged Dr Mahathir’s desire to continue leading the country until the conclusion of the 2020 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit, which Malaysia is hosting in November.

The PKR president said he also informed Dr Mahathir that PH leaders and some allies still held firm to the agreement from January 2018 to support the latter as the prime minister and for Anwar to succeed him.

The succession plan was initially presented as happening within two years of the 2018 general election, but it was later revealed that there is no formal agreement on when it must happen.

The lack of any formal timeline has led to incessant speculation, rumours and intrigue about the transition, forcing both Dr Mahathir and Anwar to repeatedly insist that the promised transition will take place.

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