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Air Putih assemblyman Lim Guan Eng arrives at the Penang state assembly building in George Town August 30, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin
Air Putih assemblyman Lim Guan Eng arrives at the Penang state assembly building in George Town August 30, 2021. — Picture by Sayuti Zainudin

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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 — Though Parliament has to be postponed a week, Opposition lawmaker Lim Guan Eng said today Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob must table a confidence motion as soon as possible once the sitting resumes.

The Bagan MP said failure to do so would be unconstitutional and seen as an act of defiance against the Yang di-Pertuan Agong who had previously issued a decree on it.

“It is clear that Parliament is postponed by one week to accommodate Ismail, who is under home quarantine after being in close contact with a Covid-19 positive patient.

“However, if there is no vote of confidence motion, what is the point or justification for the one-week postponement of Parliament? There is simply no alternative or compromise on holding a vote of confidence motion in Parliament, this must proceed,” he said in a statement.

Lim said there is no reason for the new prime minister to put off the vote of confidence when he already had the support of 114 MPs.

The DAP secretary-general reminded Ismail Sabri of the fate that befell previous prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin who delayed the confidence vote in Parliament.

“Ismail should not forget what happened to his predecessor who was seen in a similar light of open disobedience that evoked royal displeasure,” he said.

Lim cautioned Ismail Sabri that failure to table the motion would only destroy the Umno vice-president’s credibility and integrity while giving rise to more political instability.

“For Ismail Sabri not to include the motion of vote of confidence in the Parliamentary agenda would be unconstitutional.

“This would seriously hamper Ismail Sabri’s ability as prime minister to lead the country as well as risk his reliability to fulfil his promise to carry out institutional reforms,” he said, adding that open defiance would be construed as willful and recalcitrant disobedience to His Majesty.

Several MPs had earlier today shared on social media a notice from Dewan Rakyat secretary Nizam Mydin Bacha Mydin informing them that the first meeting of the fourth session of the 14th Malaysian Parliament will be held on September 13 to October 12 and run for 17 days.

It was previously scheduled to start on September 6 and last until September 30, a total of 15 days.

Ismail Sabri’s predecessor, Muhyiddin, had promised to table a confidence vote on September 7, but resigned from office before he could do so.

Muhyiddin conceded on August 16 that he did not have the majority support.

Prior to appointing Ismail Sabri as the new PM, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah said the confidence vote should be undertaken in Parliament as it is the proper constitutional thing to do to gain legitimacy.

Ismail Sabri is currently under self-quarantine after being identified as a Covid-19 close contact, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement yesterday.

He had to forego attending the swearing-in ceremony for his Cabinet at the Istana Negara yesterday as well.

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