Yang di-Pertuan Agong will not grant an audience to anyone for a week as he is under observation at the National Heart Institute, a palace official said, as Anwar Ibrahim seeks a meeting with him to form a new government.
Anwar Ibrahim said he had secured a majority in Parliament that is strong and stable on Wednesday (Sept 23).
However, Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy. The appoint of Prime Minister and forming of the new federal government must comply with certain regulations and procedures.
Hence, despite Anwar gets a majority, the Federal Constitution puts the power in the hands of Yang di-Pertuan Agong to decide.
Over the past decade, many experiences have shown that the Malay Ruler is the key role and the highest decision maker.
Historical Politic Events
In 2009, the Perak constitutional crisis took place when three Pakatan Rakyat state assemblymen defected, causing Pakatan Rakyat state government collapsed.
The incumbent Menteri Besar, Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin requested an audience with Perak Sultan to dissolve the state assembly.
However, Sultan rejected his request and subsequently appointed Barisan Nasional candidate, Zambry Abdul Kadir to take over the position. With support from Sultan, Zambry immediately formed a new state government with additional supports from the three defecting assemblymen.
The lawfulness of Barisan Nasional state government was disputed vehemently by Pakatan Rakyat. Eventually, the Federal Court confirmed that Zambry Abdul Kadir was the legitimate Menteri Besar.
The same scenario happened in 2020. Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Malacca rejected the request of Pakatan Harapan Chief Minister, Adly Zahari to dissolve the state assembly.
Despite that, a different scenario happened in Sabah when 13 assemblymen pledged support to former Chief Minister Musa Aman. With the consent of Yang di-Pertua Negeri of Sabah, Shafie Apdal dissolved the state assembly and called for a snap election.
Although Yang di-Pertuan Agong plays a ceremonial role in Malaysia, he is the key man in resolving the current politic impasse. Below are several options the Malay ruler could decide:
Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the power to dissolve parliament on the advice of the Prime Minister and trigger elections. A general election must be held in 60 days after the dissolution of parliament. This is to return the mandate to the people for political stability.
Appoint a new prime minister
Yang di-Pertuan Agong could appoint a prime minister who, in his view, is likely to command a majority in Parliament. Back to February 2020 when former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad resigned, Yang di-Pertuan Agong spent days to determine who the lawmakers supported. Ultimately, Muhyiddin Yassin gets appointed as the 8Th Prime Minister with the support of 113 MPs. This time, Yang di-Pertuan Agong may need to urge the current Prime Minister to resign if Anwar Ibrahim gets the majority in Parliament.
Seek confidence vote in Parliament
A snap general election may not necessary due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Yang di-Pertuan Agong may request the speaker of Dewan Rakyat to hold a confidence vote to solve the current political uncertainty.
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Prepared by: Keanwah Goh