The right to determine Parliament’s dissolution date is the prerogative of the prime minister, said de facto law minister Datuk Seri Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar.
He added, however, that the decision to dissolve Parliament rests with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong giving his consent.
“Since Malaya achieved its independence in 1957, the prime minister has never had discussions with the Cabinet.
“But two weeks ago, the Cabinet did discuss that if there is a need for the prime minister to seek an audience with the King to dissolve Parliament – although there is no agreement which says that the prime minister can use his discretion.
“No date has been stated – at least the idea had been discussed,” Wan Junaidi told reporters during a press conference at the Parliament building here today.
He explained that under Article 39 of the Federal Constitution, the Malaysian government is governed by the King, but the King does not do this alone as he is advised by the Cabinet, and before the Cabinet is formed, the prime minister is appointed by the King (under Article 40).
“After the King has appointed the prime minister, he will chair the Cabinet, so the Cabinet and the prime minister’s powers are diluted.
“That is why if we look at the practice since 1957 until 1963, the prime minister has never discussed with anyone to seek an audience with the King apart from certain leaders,” he said, referring to discussions between the prime minister and Cabinet before a decision is made to dissolve Parliament.
Wan Junaidi reminded that in this context, any decision would be at the prime minister’s discretion as he is first among equals.
Earlier today, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the decision to propose the dissolution of Parliament to pave the way for a general election is the prime minister’s prerogative.
He said other political parties have no say in the matter, and that the dissolution of Parliament was never discussed openly in the past.
On the other hand, on Sunday, Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin reportedly told Berita Harian that the decision to dissolve Parliament to pave the way for a general election must take into account the views of those in the Cabinet.
Hamzah cited the Federal Constitution, saying that the prime minister may advise that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong dissolve Parliament after consulting his Cabinet colleagues.
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