How Anwar’s move could play out

By Joshua Wu

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim the Opposition leader and Member of Parliament (MP) for Port Dickson, announced in a press conference on Sept 23 that he has “received convincing support from Members of Parliament for him to present to the Yang Dipertuan Agong.”

Some news articles report Anwar as claiming to have close to two-thirds majority. This, if true, would be more than sufficient for the formation of a new government with Anwar as the Prime Minister.

Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, President of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) claimed to have been told that a big chunk of UMNO and Barisan Nasional MPs have voiced their support for Anwar.

The royal palace has confirmed that Anwar and his wife, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, were scheduled to have an audience before the King on Sept 22.

The scheduled audience had to be postponed because the King is undergoing treatment at the National Heart Institute.

Once Anwar gets his audience with the King, he has to convince the King that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin no longer commands the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat).

He can do so by demonstrating that it is in fact he who commands the confidence of the majority. For example, it should suffice if Anwar can adduce at least 112 statutory declarations affirmed by Members of the Dewan Rakyat.

If/once Muhyiddin ceases to command the confidence of the majority, the following are some possible scenarios:

Scenario A: Muhyiddin requests that Parliament be dissolved & the King grants the request

Pursuant to Article 43(4) of the Federal Constitution, Muhyiddin has the option of requesting that the King dissolve Parliament.

If the King grants the request then a general election will then be held within sixty days from the date of the dissolution of Parliament [Article 55(4) of the Federal Constitution]

Scenario B: Muhyiddin requests that Parliament be dissolved & the King denies the request

The King has the discretion to “[withhold] consent to a request for the dissolution of Parliament” [Article 40(2)(b) of the Federal Constitution].

If the King decides to exercise his discretion to withhold consent to Muhyiddinโ€™s request then the King will exercise his discretion to appoint an individual as Prime Minister [Article 40(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution] whom in the King’s judgement, is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Dewan Rakyat [Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution].

If this person is Anwar, he will be sworn in as ninth Prime Minister.

๐—ฆ๐—ฐ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—ถ๐—ผ ๐—–: Muhyiddin ๐—ฑ๐—ผ๐—ฒ๐˜€ ๐—ป๐—ผ๐˜ ๐—ฟ๐—ฒ๐—พ๐˜‚๐—ฒ๐˜€๐˜ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฎ๐˜ ๐—ฃ๐—ฎ๐—ฟ๐—น๐—ถ๐—ฎ๐—บ๐—ฒ๐—ป๐˜ ๐—ฏ๐—ฒ ๐—ฑ๐—ถ๐˜€๐˜€๐—ผ๐—น๐˜ƒ๐—ฒ๐—ฑ

Muhyiddin will have to tender the resignation of the Cabinet [Article 43(4) of the Federal Constitution], which includes himself as the individual appointed to preside over the Cabinet [Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution].

After which, the King will exercise his discretion to appoint an individual as Prime Minister whom in the King’s judgement, is likely to command the confidence of majority of the members of the Dewan Rakyat.

If this person is Anwar, he will be sworn in as ninth Prime Minister.

Joshua Wu is a lawyer and a legal commentator. 

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