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Tough to get votes for rumoured no-confidence vote against Mahathir

This article is more than 12 months old

PETALING JAYA Despite talk of a no-confidence vote being planned against Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad from inside Pakatan Harapan, it will be tough to get enough MPs to pull off such a move, said a constitutional law expert and several political analysts.

A motion of no confidence against the prime minister will require an absolute majority, that is, support from at least 112 MPs in the 222-seat Parliament, or Dewan Rakyat.

Constitutional expert Shamrahayu A. Aziz said there is no specific provision covering a motion of no confidence against the prime minister, but the Federal Constitution allows for the situation to arise.

She said Article 43(4) of the Constitution states that unless the House is dissolved, the prime minister as well as his Cabinet have to resign if he no longer commands the confidence of the majority within the Parliament.

"The Constitution is silent on the definition of what constitutes a majority in Dewan.

"But as a matter of practice and from a previous court decision, the majority means an absolute majority," she said.

Universiti Malaya political analyst Muhammad Asri Mohd Ali said it will be tough for anyone to get the 112 votes.

"It's not easy because we have various coalitions and parties and the MPs are from various regions, namely the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.

"Everyone you approach for support will make demands and seek guarantees in exchange for support," said Dr Muhammad Asri.

Apart from the ruling Pakatan, which has 125 seats, other coalitions include Barisan Nasional (40), Gabungan Parti Sarawak (19) and Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (three). Sabah has two Pakatan-friendly parties, Parti Warisan Sabah, which has nine MPs, and Upko, which has one.

There are seven independent MPs in Parliament.

A recent statement by Parti Islam Se-Malaysia, which has 18 seats, that it will support Dr Mahathir in the event of a no-confidence vote, has fuelled speculation that a plot is brewing within Pakatan to oust him.

Political analyst Shukri Shuib from Universiti Utara Malaysia said a no-confidence vote against Dr Mahathir from within Pakatan would go against democratic values.

"Even if Pakatan wants to change the Prime Minister, they should do it internally instead of dragging it out into the open at the Dewan Rakyat," he said, adding that such a move could create political instability.- THE STAR