PETALING JAYA - Despite talk of a no-confidence vote being planned against Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad from inside Pakatan Harapan, it will be very tough to get enough MPs to pull off such a move, says a constitutional law expert and several political analysts.
Unlike Parliamentary Bills, which can be passed with only a simple majority of the MPs present in Parliament at the time of voting, a motion of no confidence against the Prime Minister will require an absolute majority, that is, support from at least 112 MPs in the 222-seat Parliament, or Dewan Rakyat.
In addition, with the MPs organised into many coalitions and blocs, anyone who wants to push through a no-confidence vote will have to cut a lot of deals and make many promises in order to get the numbers needed.
Constitutional expert Shamrahayu A. Aziz said there is no specific provision covering a motion of no confidence against the prime minister but the Federal Constitution allows for the situation to arise in Parliament.
She said Article 43(4) of the Constitution states that unless the House is dissolved, the prime minister as well as his Cabinet have to resign if the prime minister no longer commands the confidence of the majority within the Dewan Rakyat.
"The Constitution is silent on the definition of what constitutes a majority in Dewan.
"But as a matter of practice and from a previous court decision, the majority means an absolute majority - that is, the majority of all members of the Dewan Rakyat (a minimum of 112)," she said.
Universiti Malaya political analyst Muhammad Asri Mohd Ali said it will be tough for anyone to get the minimum 112 votes.
"It's not easy because we have various coalitions and parties and the MPs are from various regions, namely the Peninsula, Sabah and Sarawak.
"Everyone you approach for support will make demands and seek guarantees in exchange for support," said Dr Muhammad Asri.