KUALA LUMPUR, June 5 — Refuting claims that he was being inconsistent regarding the date of the 15th general election (GE15), Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Yaakob said today that Parliament’s dissolution is the prerogative of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Although he has been given the mandate as prime minister to advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong on matters regarding the dissolution of Parliament, Ismail Sabri pointed out that if His Majesty disagrees with any of the dates proposed, he can reject it.
“This ‘flip flop’ statement is probably good so that they (DAP) won’t know when I intend to hold GE15. If you look at statements from previous prime ministers, did they set the election dates? If you had asked (Tun) Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) then, he would answer by saying he has yet to get any inspiration.
“As such, I cannot give a specific date, and (even) if I do, I would be pre-empting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, (and) this would be against the Constitution. DAP, perhaps, has the attitude of not respecting the Yang di-Pertuan Agong but I do and I abide by the Constitution,” he told reporters after officiating at the World Environment Day celebration at Taman Tugu here today.
DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook recently criticised the prime minister for allegedly being ‘inconsistent’ when it comes to the date of GE15.
This was following the prime minister’s recent interview with Nikkei Asia in Tokyo in which he said that GE15 will not be held anytime soon, although, in his speech at the Barisan Nasional (BN) Convention on Wednesday, Ismail Sabri stated that he will not delay, even for a second, the dissolution of Parliament once the coalition was fully prepared fo the polls.
He said matters pertaining GE15 will be discussed with UMNO’s political bureau and BN Supreme Council before being brought to the Cabinet and subsequently for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s consideration.
Separately, Ismail Sabri confirmed that he has yet to meet Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin to discuss her position in the Cabinet as the Ampang MP was still on leave.
“(I) haven’t met (Zuraida), she’s still on leave. I will set the date soon,” he said.
On May 26, Zuraida announced that she was joining Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) and that she will be meeting Ismail Sabri to discuss her position in the Cabinet.
Meanwhile, Ismail Sabri said the Cabinet has yet to decide on a proposal to bar members of parliament with court trials from attending parliament sittings.
He said this was something that has been proposed by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Datuk Seri Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, adding that the matter had not been comprehensively discussed at the Cabinet level.
“It is still too early as we will be reintroducing the Parliamentary Services Act, and among the provisions is that members of parliament who are facing charges are not allowed in Parliament (sittings). We have to look at this in a more comprehensive manner,” he said.
Recently, Wan Junaidi said the abolition of the Parliamentary Services Act 1963 via the Constitutional (Amendment) Act 1992 [Act A837] effective Nov 20, 1993 was to meet the need then to open the closed parliamentary service to the federal public service.