30 Sep 2016

King can’t remove PM, says ex-AG Abu Talib

KUALA LUMPUR: A prime minister can be removed only through established convention or a court judgement, says former attorney-general Abu Talib Othman in disagreement with a lawyer representing former PM Mahathir Mohamad.

“Whether the Prime Minister should remain in office is decided by the majority of MPs,” he said.

For this to happen, he said, a vote of no-confidence needed to be moved in Parliament. Alternatively, he added, a majority of MPs could make a representation to the Yang diPertuan Agong that they no longer supported the Prime Minister.

“This is the legal principle established by the Federal Court in 2010 after the Perak case, following the fall of the Pakatan Rakyat government.”

Abu Talib made his remarks in response to a statement by lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla on Wednesday. He said the King was empowered to remove the PM.

Haniff, who represents Mahathir in civil cases, said the Federal Constitution clearly stated that “the power to appoint includes the power to dismiss.”

He drew attention to Article 40 (2) (a) of the constitution, which states that the King may act in his discretion in the appointment of a prime minister.

Article 40 (2) (a) does not make any reference to the power to dismiss, but Haniff referred to the interpretation provision in the 11th Schedule of the constitution, which states that where a written law confers upon any person or authority a power to make appointments to any office, the power shall be construed as including the power to dismiss or suspend.

Because the schedule was made alongside the constitution, he argued, ignoring the former would make the latter incomplete.

Abu Talib said a general provision in the schedule could not be used as a basis to remove the chief executive of the government.

He said the provision cited by Haniff could be used only to remove ministers as the King appointed them on the advice of the Prime Minister.



Source :  http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2016/09/30/king-cant-remove-pm-says-ex-ag-abu-talib/

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