An Apology Does Not Equal Exoneration

MANY asked me about Tun Haniff Omar’s apology to Lim Kit Siang as read from an agreed text made in the court yesterday.

The apology was made for a remark made in a forum organised by Sinar Harian that the Member of Parliament was responsible for and had the intention to direct DAP to separate or divide Peninsular Malaysia into two parts based on race, and intended to sow discord between the Malay and Chinese communities.

Malay apologists were quick to jump the gun claiming that Malaysians had been duped into thinking that Kit Siang was involved in inciting the various races in the country that led to the May 13 tragedy.

The apology was not about that at all.

Let me reiterate in all fairness, that Lim Kit Siang did not utter those said words.

I was made to understand that they were the words of another politician who was also arrested for sedition after the tragedy, as was Lim Kit Siang who was arrested for other reasons.

When the movie Tanda Putera was shown, many pro-Malay bloggers said it was Lim Kit Siang who was involved in a scene depicting a group of non-Malays who urinated at the base of a flag pole.

I wrote on my blog that that scene did not involve Kit Siang, as he was arrested in Kota Kinabalu and was not in Kuala Lumpur when that and the rioting happened.

In fact, it was almost two months to the day of the tragedy that Kit Siang was arrested under Section 11(2)(b) of the Internal Security Act, 1960 for six offences under the Act ranging from 27 July 1968 in Tanjung Malim where he claimed that the education policy was designed to achieve an eventual extermination of Chinese newspapers, Chinese schools and Chinese languages, to an incident on May 13 1969 at a rally at Kampung Air in Kota Kinabalu where he said that the government was trying to have a Malay Malaysia by dividing the people into bumiputera and non-bumiputer, that “the Malays were first class Bumiputera” and that the government was carrying out a policy of “Malaysiation” of Sabah whereby all top post were held by the Malays.

He was also alleged to have stirred anti-Malay and anti-Islamic religious feelings by telling the audience at Kampung Air that the government was pursuing the policy of exploitation by Malays of other races and that the government, by holding an International Islamic Conference in Kuala Lumpur, had intended to send Malaysian citizens to die in the Middle East in order to capture Jerusalem for the Muslim World (Jerusalem was captured by Israel during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War).

Kit Siang had only offered explanations for the inciting speeches he made, but I never saw any apology made for saying those things.

So, no. Yesterday’s apology should not be misconstrued into an exoneration of Lim Kit Siang’s guilt of fanning the sentiments that led to the May13 1969 tragedy.

It was only to underscore the fact that Kit Siang did not utter those words and was arrested because of that as mentioned by Tun Haniff.

(this article first appeared on The Mole )

A Drastic Action Is Needed To Cure Malaysia

The average Malaysian with illness other than COVID-19 now find themselves with almost nowhere to go to seek treatment (Photo courtesy of The Straits Times)

Let me just start this posting off with a few numbers to remind us of where we are right now.

WHERE WE ARE

Today is 3rd August 2021, Day 504 since leaving the Old Norm. It has been 228 days since we had seen ZERO deaths due to covid-19 in a day. Never mind the one million plus accumulated number of recorded cases since the pandemic hit our shores on 25 January 2020. We look at the harder numbers: with today’s 17,105 new cases, we have 203,664 people undergoing treatment or quarantine for being COVID-19 positive. 9,598 have died. 3,854 of those (40.15 percent) died in the month of July 2021 alone. We have lost 219 in the first three days of August 2021. In the same corresponding period in July 2021, our worst month, the first three days saw 107 deaths, less than half that of August 2021’s. And today, 1,066 are being treated in ICU wards nationwide, 537 in need of breathing assistance. That is 50.4 percent of those in ICU wards. Things do not look like they are going to get any better.

FIGHTING WILDFIRES

The government had worked very well during the second wave of the pandemic in Malaysia. We had only 337 cases recorded in July 2020 from a peak of 3,236 cases in April. Only two deaths were recorded in the month of August. Politics spoiled the whole effort with the Sabah state elections. Ministry of Health frontliners were fighting raging wildfires and still are. The first in a series of strategems in fighting wildfires should be the establishment of control lines: natural or man-made boundaries employed by firefighters to contain wildfires. That had worked to contain the spread during the second wave (March 2020-August 2020), but it was the politicians that had let us down (Sabah state elections). Things spiralled downwards from then on.

It was hoped that the Proclamation of Emergency sought by the government from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong would have provided both the frontliners as well as the rakyat with the same boundaries, but that never happened. From 12 January 2021 through July 2021, thousands of private vehicles were still allowed to cross state borders, giving rise to clusters outside the Greater Klang Valley. By the time the government reacted and put a stop to those abusing MITI letters to go back for both the Hari Raya, thousands were infected. It is unfortunate that it is the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s image that has to absorb the flak.

The only good things to have hatched from the Emergency were the ability of the government to procure medical equipment including the various types of vaccines without having to go though the debates in Parliament. The Opposition has not been able to contribute anything worthy of mention, other than its hunger to wrestle back power from the PN government. That is all the interest that it has shown thus far, just as UMNO, unable to swallow its pride after the trashing it received three years ago, is not in favour of being led by a smaller party

WAY OUT

Statutory Declarations and press statements do not determine who gets to govern. The only way is through a vote on a motion of no confidence against the sitting Prime Minister in Parliament. That can be determined when Parliament assembles again. The worry is that if the Prime Minister loses support and his government imminently resigns, this vicious cycle of struggle for power will not end here. We have not yet achieve herd immunity to safely call for elections.

If the Prime Minister loses support and there is no one clear candidate with enough support to stymie an opposition to the formation of the candidate’s government, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has a way out as per Article 150 (1) of the Federal Constitution, where only His Majesty has the right to proclaim an Emergency if His Majesty is satisfied that ‘a grave emergency exists whereby the security, or the economic life, or public order in the federation or any part thereof is threatened.’

A MAGERAN headed by a Director of Operations and supported by members chosen by His Majesty could administer and manage the country while politicians observe a cooling-off period. They can be professionals, economists, ex-military, ex-police as well as ex-judges, while the civil service shall continue to be headed by the Chief Secretary to the Government.

If there is a need to amend the Federal Constitution to reinstate measures previously removed so that the Executive does not have too much power as it does now, this is the time to do so. Only when things have stabilised will general elections be allowed to be held again to choose a civilian government. The mechanism of this MAGERAN and which parts of the Federal Constitution that need to be suspended, will have to be carefully thought out.

I find that the feeling on the ground is for such a council to come into existence. Everyone is now looking at a strong leadership by people who actually know how to handle the situation. We can take a cue from this call for the fight against COVID-19 to be given to the Army to handle. We cannot go on like this, locked within the four walls of our homes with our savings dwindling very fast, while our frontliners bathe in their sweat on a daily basis without an end in sight, and our politicians fight each other for power without giving so much as a hoot to the perils being faced daily by the people.

Someone asked me if it would be constitutionally legal for such a thing to be done. It has been done before. It worked then. And it is provided for by the Federal Constitution. How unconstitutional can that be?

Darurat? Kenapa Tidak PKP?

Gambar ihsan Malaya Post

Dulu kita dapat meratakan graf penularan wabak COVID-19 hanya dengan PKP tanpa perlu isytihar darurat sebab pada 18 Mac 2020, jumlah terkumpul kes COVID-19 ialah sebanyak 790 kes, kes baharu sebanyak 117 kes, 728 orang sedang dirawat dan purata kes sehari bagi 10 hari ialah 82.625 kes.

Kerajaan kerugian RM2.4 billion setiap hari semasa PKP dikuatkuasakan.

Kemudian kita laksanakan PKPP dan benarkan rakyat Malaysia teruskan dengan kehidupan dengan mematuhi norma baharu.

Shafie Apdal mengambil langkah drastik tidak menunggu keputusan mahkamah dan berjaya mendapat persetujuan TYT Gabenor Sabah untuk membubarkan DUN Sabah untuk memberi laluan kepada PRN Sabah walaupun terdapat banyak bantahan akibat khuatir kes COVID-19 akan naik mendadak.

Pada 13 September 2020, 13 hari sebelum PRN Sabah, Ahli Parlimen DAP Teresa Kok persoal cadangan kerajaan untuk kuarantin individu yang pulang dari berkempen dan mengundi di Sabah ( https://m.malaysiakini.com/news/542448 ).

Ada yang bertanya kenapa perlunya darurat sekarang sedangkan pada 18 Mac 2020 kita laksanakan PKP dan berjaya mendatarkan graf?

Jawapannya ialah keadaan tidak lagi sama. Jumlah terkumpul kes COVID-19 ialah 144,518. 2,985 kes baharu berbanding 117. 32,377 orang sedang dirawat berbanding 728 manakala jumlah kematian Ialah sebanyak 563 berbanding 2. Purata kes sehari bagi 10 hari ialah sebanyak 2,544.1 berbanding 82.625 sehari pada 18 Mac 2020.

Kita akhiri tahun 2020 dengan kadar 3,455.96 kes bagi setiap satu juta orang penduduk. Semalam (13 Januari 2021), kadarnya meningkat kepada 4,419.51 kes bagi setiap satu juta orang penduduk.

Katil-katil hospital semakin penuh. Sistem perubatan kita kini mengalami tekanan hebat. Kita tidak ada masa lagi untuk berbincang atau berdebat. Kita perlukan tindakan serta-merta.

Ada juga yang bertanggapan bahawa darurat ini diumumkan oleh Muhyiddin Yassin untuk memelihara kedudukannya sebagai Perdana Menteri. Persoalannya ialah, memandangkan kuasa eksekutif negara ini dan hak mengisytiharkan darurat adalah kuasa, hak dan mengikut budi bicara Yang di-Pertuan Agong, adakah suara-suara ini menuduh bahawa Seri Paduka itu bodoh dan hanya menjadi Pak Turut milik Perdana Menteri?

Kita baca apa yang dinyatakan dalam kenyataan yang dikeluarkan oleh Istana Negara mengenai hal ini:

“Setelah memperhalusi penjelasan YAB Perdana Menteri dan sembah taklimat daripada Ketua Setiausaha Negara Tan Sri Mohd Zuki bin Ali; Peguam Negara Tan Sri Idrus bin Harun; Panglima Angkatan Tentera Tan Sri Haji Affendi bin Buang; Ketua Polis Negara Tan Sri Abdul Hamid bin Bador, Ketua Pengarah Kesihatan Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham bin Abdullah dan Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Datuk Abdul Ghani bin Salleh, maka Al-Sultan Abdullah berpandangan bahawa penularan wabak COVID-19 di negara ini berada di tahap yang amat kritikal dan adanya keperluan Pengisytiharan Proklamasi Darurat berdasarkan Fasal (1) Perkara 150 Perlembagaan Persekutuan.

Perlu dimaklumkan bahawa perkenan ini juga telah mengambil kira rundingan Seri Paduka Baginda dengan Raja-Raja Melayu.”

——————————————

Bukankah sebelum ini Muhyiddin, disokong oleh ahli-ahli Majlis Keselamatan Negara, pernah memohon agar Yang di-Pertuan Agong isytihar darurat, namun ditolak oleh Kebawah Duli Tuanku?

Keadaan di hospital-hospital kerajaan amat kritikal. Tidak bolehkah kita bendung dahulu penularan wabak ini?

Untuk yang tak sabar nak jadi Perdana Menteri, kenapa tak ambil masa 24 bulan sebelum PRU15 ini untuk berkhidmat sebenar-benarnya untuk rakyat dan menangi semula kepercayaan rakyat? Sudahkah anda pelajari sebab-sebab anda ditolak rakyat tiga tahun lepas?

UMANY: The Reincarnation of UMCLS?

UMANY and the three-finger salute

IT all started with DAP’s Ronnie Liu’s posting about the movement in the Thai capital where demonstrators are up against both the government and the King of Thailand. His caption was simple but subtly seditious: “Now in Bangkok. They are saying no to the King.” Ronnie Liu’s post was to pre-empt a possible proclamation of emergency by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong following an audience with the Cabinet. The King never proclaimed an emergency and Ronnie Liu was arrested four days ago by the police and is being investigated under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act for inciting hate against a Ruler or a government. He has since been released on bail.

A couple of days ago, several photos of posts made by the University of Malaya Association of New Youth (UMANY) stating that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong should not interfere in national affairs made their rounds in the various social media. A photo of several people in a square showing the ‘Hunger Games’ three-finger salute caught my interest.

Firstly, in the ‘Hunger Games’ movie, the salute is a gesture to mean thanks, admiration, and goodbye to someone they love. But in Bangkok, the salute is to show anger toward the country’s royalist military establishment. It has also been flashed at royal motorcades by Thai protesters.

Secondly, some of those depicted doing the salute are those who showed no decorum during graduation ceremonies at the University of Malaya. It comes as no surprise that these people are the buds of republicanism – people with no respect for history nor the Federal Constitution.

Some photos also show them with well-known members of the DAP. They may be coincidental; but if the DAP impresses them so much, perhaps the DAP should advise them that while championing liberties, the Federal Constitution as the paramount law of the land must be respected to the dot. Unless these clueless youngsters reflect a reincarnation of another society formed within the compound of the University of Malaya, that is now defunct.

In December last year, Ronnie Liu appeared at a gathering to commemorate and glorify the butchers from the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM). At the gathering the ADUN of Sungai Pelek admitted that his father was a communist and that the latter strived to free Malaya from its British ‘colonialists’.

First of all, the CPM was never interested in the independence of Malaya, and definitely, nor in democracy. Chin Peng never harboured any loyalty to Malaya. Instead, he said that, influenced by communist doctrine, he wanted to join Mao’s forces to fight a guerrilla war in China. “The same sentiments still applied…I was intending to die for my motherland, a land I had never even visited” wrote Chin Peng in 2003. It means that 14 years after the signing of the Hatyai peace agreement, Chin Peng still regarded China as his motherland (Alias Chin Peng – My Side of History, p.133, 2003). Malaya (later Malaysia) was never home to this butcher.

After withdrawing into southern Thailand following the end of the First Emergency (1948-1960), the CPM Central Committee in 1961 carried out a review of its past policies and chartered a course for the resumption of armed struggle, and spread its doctrine amongst the Thai Chinese which later dominated the 8th and 12th Regiments.

They set up Marxist-Leninist Training Schools to indoctrinate the youth, and by 1963, more than 2,000 indoctrinated youths had returned to Malaya and Singapore. In Singapore, they infiltrated the Nanyang University Students Union (NUSU). 10 days after the formation of the Federation of Malaysia, the police entered the university to arrest communist leaders.

It was also during this time that communist cadres from Johor, Selangor and Perak crossed to Indonesia to be trained and armed by the Partai Komunis Indonesia (PKI).

Nanyang University in Singapore was not the only university that was infiltrated by communist agents. They also infiltrated the University of Malaya Chinese Language Society (UMCLS). It started in mid-1970 with a group of students calling themselves the Young Socialists planning to position themselves for the upcoming election, and in June 1971 succeeded in gaining control of the UMCLS Executive Committee as planned. The UMCLS quickly formed ancillary bodies to spread the communist doctrine. Bodies such as the Dramatic Study Sub-Committee and the Cultural Exchange Preparatory Committee were designed to launch propaganda offensive.

The CPM link to the UMCLS was confirmed on Oct 14 1973 when security forces shot dead a communist terrorist near Tanah Hitam, Chemor in Perak and found a work report by a senior student underground movement leader to his superiors on the activities conducted by the UMCLS. UMCLS manipulation of the University of Malaya Students Union (UMSU) led to the illegal students riot on Sept 21 1974.

The UMCLS also issued pamphlets claiming that the fall in rubber prices and rising cost of living had resulted in deaths due to starvation of villagers in the Baling area of Kedah. This was supported by a transmission by the Suara Revolusi Malaya radio station in Beijing condemning the Malaysian government for causing the deaths of the people of Baling.

On Dec 9 1974, police raided a house in SEA Park, Petaling Jaya that was occupied by members of the UMCLS and seized printing blocks, imitation rifles, boots, propaganda music cassettes and banners.

So, now we have the UMANY questioning the authority of person above all others in Malaysia – His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Is the UMANY, a student’s association that identifies itself with the DAP, now a revolutionary front to fight against His Majesty’s government and the people of Malaysia?

If it is, when will the authority be going to nip this cancer in the bud before the red stars of the UMCLS appear again terrorising our streets as they did 50 to 60 years ago?

This article first appeared on The Mole

The Unnecessary 260

Among the idiot politicians during the recent Sabah state election

Politicians don’t seem to have an inkling as to the reason people are angry. That’s because they’re selfish and greedy for power.

There was no real need for an election to be held in Sabah. It was the Governor’s call anyway whether or not to dissolve but only after the CM had made such a request. The request could have come only when the CM no longer has the confidence of the members of the Dewan.

There was no need to downplay the real dangers of COVID-19. But they did, and went ahead with it. They had programmes and ceramahs attended by definitely more than 250 people. No physical distancing by attendees and party people alike. Lots of handshakes.

There was no need for hundreds of campaigners from Malaya to flood Sabah to lend support. Were the Sabahans handicapped? Or were they incapable of winning the hearts and minds of voters there, in which case it underscores the notion that those parties did not have the support from local voters?

In this era of the COVID-19 pandemic, campaigns should be done digitally. And if the politicians have been doing their job, servicing the voters continually, there is no need to campaign even. And we would not have seen these 260 cases yesterday. Do you think by apologising you can cure the sick, turn back time and stop the virus from spreading?

Equally fast spreading is the IDIOT-19 virus where, again, politicians and their supporters are calling for a snap general election. If there’s anything that needs to be snapped really would be their neck that holds their redundantly empty head.

What does he expect by making this statement? That everything will be dandy?

Numbed Nought

Old Pals

We have all heard it before from the same person: “I have the numbers to become the next Prime Minister.”  It was first uttered in April 2008, then again just before the Pakatan Harapan administration fell, and again yesterday.  It has, thus far, come to a nought.

It may have come as a shocker for many.  The KLCI fell 0.7 percent and closed nine points lower on Wednesday after the announcement was made.  To be fair, the KLCI has been on bearish for almost a month now. It was at 1578.55 points on August 24th and is at 1496.48 points on September 23rd.

Other than that, Anwar’s claim has been met with scepticism.  “We will have to wait to see if this is another episode of making claims that cannot be substantiated,” said Dr Mahathir over Zoom at Nutanix ASEAN CIO Virtual Summit about his former deputy who is famous for making repeated unsubstantiated claims of having support for the premiership.  Many others think that it is just Anwar’s way to ensure that the voters in Sabah’s state elections will jump on the Pakatan Plus band wagon and support ‘the winning team.’

Numbed by Anwar’s occasional antics, I hardly find his announcement believable, let alone a shocker.  However, a statement that followed and made by another politician got the ‘WTF’ reaction from me.  Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, whose court case against him is far more solid than the one against Najib Razak, announced that UMNO and BN cannot stop any of its Members of Parliament wanting to support Anwar to form a government with Pakatan Plus.  As a matter of fact, Ahmad Zahid said that he ‘respects’ the decision made by the UMNO MPs wanting to jump to the other side.

For a few hours there was silence on the part of Zahid’s supporters.  And then came the spin – the statement is a ploy by Zahid to pressure Muhyiddin’s ‘greedy’ PPBM into asking for a dissolution of Parliament and the calling of a general election.  In other words, according to his supporters, Zahid is extorting Muhyiddin for a general election to be called.

For the life of me, I find that the lamest excuse that I have ever heard in wanting to dissolve a Parliament.  In order to try get a general election going, all it needs for UMNO to do is to leave the PN government, or maybe Zahid has never read and understood the Federal Constitution.  Once the sitting Prime Minister has lost the confidence of the majority of the members of the Lower House, he shall tender the resignation of himself and that of his cabinet, or advice the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament.  That is all it takes.  No extortion needed, and UMNO does not have to be in an administration that DAP is member of.  It is a bizarre statement coming from Zahid, the President of UMNO.

But Zahid, and his ill-read supporter should also remember this:  Parliament can continue for five years from the date of its first meeting till its next dissolution, and in the meantime, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can appoint another member of Parliament whom, in His Majesty’s judgment, has the confidence of the majority of the House’s members. So, Zahid can threaten Muhyiddin but the Yang di-Pertuan Agong can still refuse to dissolve Parliament. That would be a double whammy for UMNO.  And looking at how fluid things are, not one party would dare to go through a general election now until forced to in 2023.  So, is UMNO ready to be partners with PKR, DAP and Amanah?  I strongly doubt it.

UMNO’s No.2, Mohamad Hasan, said that UMNO is still part of the PN administration and shall continue to support it. “Any change in its stance must be decided by the party,” he said when commenting on the issue.  Other UMNO MPs such as Nazri Aziz, Shahidan Kassim and Khairy Jamaluddin have all rubbished the claims.

A word of advice for UMNO.  Winning seven by-elections does not mean that the whole country is now rooting for you.  In a general election, the game is played differently.  Majority of the urban voters are still against you.  Sabah has not exactly accepted you.  Sarawak still cannot trust your Muafakat Nasional partner, PAS. The nation only accepts Muhyiddin and his multi-party band of senior ministers.  Not even the rest of Muhyiddin’s cabinet has the trust of the people. With Zahid trying to play big brother, the wounds of the last general election will bleed again, and people will remember the greedy UMNO that they brought down two years ago.  You are now part of a government without having to wait another three years to go through an election – so be thankful.

As for Zahid, he should learn to behave more like a statesman than a numbnut.  He often speaks before his brain could process the outcome.  A party president is the person who sets the path on which the members in his party should follow.  If he, as UMNO’s President, cannot control his MPs to form an administration with PKR and possibly DAP as he says, he has no business staying on as the party president claiming that he is looking after the interests of the Bumiputeras.  Or is there a deal that he has made with Anwar for a ‘Get Out of Jail Free’ card?  If that is true, then shame on him.

Brown Will Never Be White

Alec Douglas-Home, Boris Johnson and Muhyiddin Yassin

The UK’s centre-left newspaper The Guardian has made a scathing attack on the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decision to appoint Muhyiddin Yassin as Malaysia’s 8th Prime Minister.

The attack was made in an editorial and reeks of rancid prejudice by accusing His Majesty of executing a ‘royal coup’ that had helped topple the PH government.

The editorial however failed to explain that it is the constitutional prerogative of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to choose a member of the Dewan Rakyat who in his judgment, commands the confidence of the House, as Prime Minister. And in his judgment at that point of time, it was Muhyiddin who had the most support – the most goal scored before the final whistle was blown.

It was impossible to keep the circus going without dragging the whole nation down both economically as well as security. Tensions were high at that point and public order had to be protected. As sovereign, it is the duty of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to also end the circus to maintain peace and order for the public good. This was the judgment in para 226 Dato’ Dr Zambry v Dato’ Seri Nizar [2009] 5 CLJ 265.

The editorial should also know that Queen Elizabeth II had had two Prime Ministers whose appointments were controversial and did not have the support of the majority of the House of Commons.

The Queen appointed Sir Alec Douglas-Home to succeed Harold Macmillan ,who was ill and resigned in 1963, denying the popular Rab Butler’s chance of becoming the PM. The Queen was accused of colluding with Macmillan to have Douglas-Home appointed without the process of a leadership election.

Buckingham Palace made it clear then that the choice for a new PM should come from the Tories alone, a very highly unusual advice, maintaining a process called ‘You Choose, We Send For’. There was no consultation whatsoever with Labour or other political parties.

As a matter of fact Boris Johnson’s government is still without majority support in Parliament!

Therefore, why is it so wrong for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to go by the Federal Constitution, interviewed every single MP, consulted the other Rulers, before making the decision to appoint Muhyiddin? He went by the book to make sure he correctly appoints his Prime Minister who will be heading His Majesty’s government!

Is it because we can never be right if we go by the book because we are not white?

When Wisdom And Maturity Win

His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong

The political crisis started a long way back with one man thinking that the seat of the Prime Minister should be handed to him, while the incumbent felt that he should hold on to it for as long as possible. There was no Malay, Chinese, Indian, Jawi, UEC or Adib involved in the whole fiasco.

When His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong stepped in to solve the crisis, there were as many calls for the Parliament to be dissolved as there were for the incumbent to handover the premiership to his so-called designated successor. I wrote to friends the following:

“The Raja is the landowner. It is the constitutional prerogative of the Raja to choose whom in his judgment should lead the administration of HIS government. Our duty every five years or so is to vote for those whom we think should represent us. That is where our responsibility ends.”

His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong did exactly that – solving the crisis according to what is accorded to him in the Federal Constitution. With the two warring parties claiming the right to the premiership, political parties went back and forth changing their allegiance to each of the party who in turn claimed that he has the most support.

His Majesty went on to call each MP for a private interview trying to see who supports whom. And many got trapped in that simple but virtually meaningless definition of ‘majority support’ thinking that the candidate with the most support should become the Prime Minister. However, there is nothing in the Federal Constitution that gives such provision.

Article 43 (2) (a) of the Federal Constitution states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall first appoint as Perdana Menteri to preside over the Cabinet a member of the House of Representatives who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House. In other words, exact number of support for any of the candidate is not a requirement for a decision to be made by His Majesty. The interview is only for him to gauge the level of support each candidate has.

The method used is similar to the ones used in Perak by the late Sultan Azlan Shah, and in Kedah several years later, to determine who can command the confidence of the most of the Dewan to become the respective States’ Menteri Besar. In all three crises, the maturity and wisdom of the Ruler is incumbent (Dr Zambry v Dato’ Seri Nizar [2009]5 CLJ 265) para 232. The method to determine the issue of “majority support” is the prerogative of the Ruler and is non-justiciable (op cit).

It is in my opinion that “majority support” was determined by the total number of MPs from any one bloc. There was the Anwar bloc – MPs who wanted Anwar to become the next PM. Then there was the Mahathir bloc – people who wanted the elder statesman to continue. And we had the Muhyiddin bloc – those who solidly supported Muhyiddin’s candidacy. Both the Anwar and Mahathir bloc had to combine to challenge Muhyiddin’s number of support. But whether they like the other bloc’s candidate that they were forced to accept is questionable. Hence, the one with the most unambiguous support would be Muhyiddin.

No one else has the right to choose a Prime Minister. The right claimed by Anwar Ibrahim to become a Prime Minister, and the so-called promise by Mahathir to hand over the premiership to the former, are against the Federal Constitution. Only the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has that right, as prescribed in Article 40 (2) of the Federal Constitution. Conventions are not laws, and are therefore not legal. It is because of this illegal promise that got us into this trouble last week.

Even after the announcement by Istana Negara on the swearing-in ceremony of Malaysia’s 8th Prime Minister was made, there is still talks of numbers and majority made by the other party. But what is the point of scoring 50 goals after the final whistle was blown? And going back to Article 43 (2)(a) where it is the Constitutional prerogative of the King to choose an MP as the PM whom in his judgment commands the confidence of the member of the House, such SDs carry no weight whatsoever. It was just an attempt to create negative perception about the wisdom of the King.

We are certainly blessed to have a wise King who made full use of his rights in the Constitution and his freedom to consult to settle this chaos. Despite taking precedence above all other persons in the Federation, His Majesty did not forget to consult all the other Rulers. After all, he represents all the Rulers. And he stood his Constitutional ground, gentlemanly, when others did not.

Was The Speaker Playing Politics?

Pic courtesy of Malaysiakini

The Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat yesterday issued a statement saying that he will not issue a notice for the August House to convene for a special sitting at the request of Mahathir.

Many said that the Speaker was playing politics, and possibly because his son works for the DAP. However, I am in the opinion that the Speaker was right.

Any person who is to become a Minister must first take an oath of office and allegiance and an oath of secrecy in the presence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong before taking office, as prescribed by Article 43(6) the Federal Constitution.

When Parliament is dissolved, the PM and cabinet remain in office as a caretaker government until a new government is formed and sworn in.

In this case, Mahathir resigned, and the Cabinet automatically resigns with him. His oaths of office, allegiance and secrecy are null and void. He is no longer a Prime Minister. He was appointed as an Interim PM, but there was no swearing-in ceremony. Constitutionally-speaking, he is NOT a Prime Minister.

Therefore, if he is not a PM, he cannot instruct the Speaker of the House to issue a notice to convene for a special sitting when Parliament is in recess according to Rule 11(3) of the Parliamentary Meeting Rules.

Who Is Anwar To Demand?

Anwar demands for the seat of the Prime Minister (pic courtesy of The Third Force)

Anwar Ibrahim has been waiting for the past 22 years to become the PM. The closest he ever got there was 23 years ago when he became the acting Prime Minister for a short while. And then he got expelled from UMNO that was being led by Mahathir.

There may have been an understanding or even an agreement between Mahathir’s PPBM and PKR, DAP, and PAN that Anwar should become the PM after an X number of years of Mahathir being at the helm.

While Mahathir has never mentioned a specific date for a handover, Anwar has been selling the idea of him being the next PM to the public, forcing a perception that it is his right to take over the helm from Mahathir.

He even said to members of the press that he is open to the idea of Mahathir joining his cabinet. That is how cocksure he is of becoming the PM.

But, since when is the Prime Minister’s post the right of an individual? Even if a Prime Minister can determine his successor, only the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the constitutional right to choose a Prime Minister.

Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution gives that right to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to choose a Prime Minister from amongst the members of the Lower House whom he thinks has the confidence and support of the majority of the members.

Back during BN days it became a convention that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong chose the one named by the incumbent, but that was then. That was a time when BN commanded the majority in Parliament.

Unlike the BN, this is a government of motley crew. Helmed by a Prime Minister from a party with the least number of seats, support from within can go either way.

And to get a sure majority support, the Opposition has to be roped in; something unthinkable during the BN days. However, given a choice between the devil and the deep blue sea, I doubt that it is in the best interest of the Opposition to back someone seen to have the support of the DAP.

To put Anwar Ibrahim in that post in ways other than those prescribed in the Federal Constitution would be a revolution, and there is nothing democratic about revolutions.

It is the sole right of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to choose a Prime Minister to lead his government. There is no other form of right agreed by all parties when this nation came into being. Dreamers can therefore continue to dream.