KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 ― Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof has confirmed today he rejected Semporna MP Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal’s plan to table a motion of confidence that Langkawi MP Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad commands the majority of the Lower House.

In his response to the Sabah lawmaker sighted by the Malay Mail, Mohamad Ariff said that the motion is against the Federal Constitution, therefore cannot be allowed to be brought to the meeting.

“I have studied the motion proposed by his honourable Datuk Seri Panglima as well as his explanation,” he wrote in the letter, referring to Shafie.

“Based on the explanation in the motion, I found that it is not in line with Article 43 of the Federal Constitution because it questions the power to appoint the prime minister by the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong.


“Therefore, I cannot allow your motion to be brought into the Meeting,” Mohamad Ariff added.

When contacted by the Malay Mail to see if the content of the letter issued to Shafie is true, the Speaker answered in the affirmative.

Article 43 of the Constitution states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall appoint a Cabinet of ministers to advise him in the exercise of his functions.


Based on a letter dated May 1, also sighted by the Malay Mail, Shafie had notified the Speaker of his intention to table the motion in order to demonstrate that the former prime minister still commanded majority support in the Dewan Rakyat.

Shafie, who is also the chief minister of Sabah, asserted in the same letter that his motion in no way diminished the constitutional authority of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to appoint a prime minister from among the country’s federal lawmakers.

When he was asked about the letter today in Beluran, Sabah, Shafie declined to confirm the matter.

Parliament will convene for the first time this year on May 18. However, the government has truncated the meeting that was already delayed from its original date in March to just a single day, citing the Covid-19 pandemic as the reason.

The March meeting was postponed after Dr Mahathir resigned as the prime minister, eventually leading to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government.

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was sworn in as the new prime minister heading the Perikatan Nasional administration despite assertions from Dr Mahathir’s camp that the latter still had the support to be reappointed.


Neither Muhyiddin nor Dr Mahathir has publicly demonstrated that either commanded the majority support needed to be the prime minister.