KUALA LUMPUR, May 7 — Sabah Umno Tuaran division chief Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan has challenged Semporna MP Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal to resign as Sabah chief minister after the latter failed to push through plans to table a motion of confidence for Langkawi MP Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Rahman said this after Shafie's plans were rejected by Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof earlier today.
“In mature democracies, the person who brings a 'divisive and disruptive' vote of confidence or vote of no confidence normally resigns if his attempt fails.
“He takes responsibility for the failure. Failure includes the anticipated rejection by the Speaker of the motion,” said Abdul Rahman in his Facebook post.
Earlier, Mohamad Ariff had confirmed that he had rejected Shafie's motion, citing that it was against the Federal Constitution, and therefore cannot be allowed to be brought to Parliament.
Mohamad Ariff added that based on the explanation in the motion, he found that it was not in line with Article 43 of the Federal Constitution because it questions the power to appoint the prime minister by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Rahman in response to this said if there is no price to pay, the Lower House will have to deal with votes of no confidence every day which will destabilise the country.
“It’s only fair that if the vote is successful, the prime minister will resign, but if it fails, the Sabah chief minister should voluntarily resign.
“The question is will Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal have the ethics to resign? We shall wait and see,” he added in his post.
Article 43 of the Federal 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, sighted by Malay Mail, Shafie had notified the Speaker of his intentions to table the motion in order to demonstrate that the former prime minister still commanded majority support in the Dewan Rakyat.
Shafie 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.
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 commands the majority support needed to be the prime minister.