KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today confirmed his legitimacy as the 10th Prime Minister when the motion on vote of confidence for him was approved by majority voice at the opening sitting of the 15th Parliament here.
The legitimacy of the Tambun MP as Prime Minister was confirmed by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Johari Abdul when he announced the result of the voice vote, which was taken after 13 government and opposition members had debated the motion.
The motion was tabled by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof and seconded by another Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law and Institutional Reform) Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, when winding up the debate, said although the vote of confidence on the Prime Minister was not compulsory, the government itself had taken the initiative to table the motion.
She said this was to prove that the Tambun MP had the confidence of the House to be the 10th Prime Minister after taking his oath of office on Nov 24.
She said the government before this had twice tabled a similar vote of confidence – in 1976 for the late Tun Hussein Onn as the third Prime Minister and in 2003 when Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was the fifth Prime Minister.
“I wish to emphasise that what is happening today is an application (motion on vote of confidence) by the government itself, which is provided for by the Parliament standing orders.
“I cite the example of New Zealand where Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had introduced a motion on vote of confidence in parliament after forming a coaltion government.
Touching on the mechanism of the Cooperation Agreement Among Coalitions in the Unity Government, which the opposition claimed was invalid and unconstitutional, Azalina said it did not violate the Federal Constitution and was valid.
“In terms of the philosophy of political science, a coalition government has the right to function any way it wants.
“But the more important thing is that our unity government was established on the command of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. So the way we established our relationship is our absolute right,” she said.
Commenting on allegations that some component parties were unhappy and were forced to sign the agreement, she said any disputes and misunderstandings can be discussed and settled in a harmonious manner through a Consultative Council.
Azalina said the council comprised representatives from major parties in the Malaysian Unity Government, namely Pakatan Harapan (PH), Barisan Nasional (BN), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS), Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and Parti Warisan, and was responsible for ensuring that all the terms in the agreement were carefully implemented.
Earlier, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin alleged that the action of the PH and BN government in signing the Cooperation Agreement had undermined democracy and restricted parliamentary freedom.
Kota Bharu MP Datuk Seri Takiyuddin Hassan, who is PAS secretary-general, alleged that the pact was against the Contracts Act.