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ios developer account( Agong empowered to disregard dissolution advice, appoint new PM


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The Yang di-Pertuan Agong is constitutionally empowered to not abide by the advice to dissolve Parliament forwarded by a prime minister who has lost the majority backing of the lawmakers, constitutional lawyers say.

Senior civil law practitioner Nizam Bashir said a precedent was previously set by the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis, whereby the state ruler ignored the then menteri besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin’s request to dissolve the State Legislative Assembly and call for elections.

Nizam noted that in that situation, the then Perak ruler Sultan Azlan Shah had refused Nizar’s advice following the latter losing the confidence of the majority of the state assemblypersons.

Later during the crisis, a new state administration was formed under Zambry Abdul Kadir as the menteri besar.

The lawyer noted that the state ruler made a finding on Zambry’s ability to command the majority confidence of the Perak State Assembly, based on the assessment of statutory declarations (SDs).

While Nizam accepts that the best forum to test a sitting prime minister’s majority support from lawmakers is in Parliament, extenuating circumstances such as Covid-19 may necessitate the Agong to not try the Dewan Rakyat route over the issue.

“(During the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis) Nizar went before the state sultan and sought the dissolution (of the state assembly for fresh elections), but he was refused.

“Nizar no longer had the confidence (of the majority state lawmakers), so the request was refused.

“Using that as an analogy, when talking about the dissolution of Parliament, one (the prime minister) must not lose the confidence of the majority,” Nizam said.

“It is up to the Agong to make a necessary finding, one way or the other. This is the constitutional role held by the king.

“That role will be played by the Agong in the best way possible. I am quite impressed with how the Agong has been handling (the issue),” he added.

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin

The constitutional lawyer was speaking on the hypothetical scenario of whether the Agong can disregard advice to dissolve Parliament from Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is claimed by numerous critics to have lost the support of the majority of the MPs.

In agreement is another veteran lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, who opined that the Agong is empowered by Article 43(4) of the Federal Constitution to refuse any Parliament-dissolving advice by a prime minister who has lost the majority backing of MPs.

The lawyer explained that if the request is refused by the Agong, then the same Federal Constitution provision states that the said prime minister must resign.

“And if that happens, then the Agong is at liberty to go through all the processes His Majesty deems fit, as done between Feb 24 and March 1 last year, to appoint another prime minister,” Haniff said.


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