What will happen on October 13?

Malaysian opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim announced late last month that his Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) coalition had secured enough defectors from the government of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to have the required majority of 112 supporters in parliament. To formally claim the prime minister’s role, he has been granted an audience with Malaysia’s king on October 13.
What will happen on that day?

By Muhammad Rafique*

Nothing. Despite all the showmanship and the guessing game on the perennial quest for numbers, one has to bear in mind that we are, after all, in a constitutional democracy guided by the rule of law.

On October 13, the Constitution will come into play again. In all likelihood at the royal audience granted to him, Anwar’s camp will endeavour to present to the king the much vaunted (by his camp at least) “documentation of the strong and convincing majority of members of parliament” supporting him as the prime minister designate to Muhyiddin.

However, at its highest that can only trigger one of two events. And this can be seen from the workings of Article 43(4) of the Federal Constitution. If Anwar’s camp is successful in evincing the alleged support via either statutory declarations and/or letters of respective party whips, that alone cannot ensure that he walks out of the National Palace as the 9th prime minister.

Confirming an open secret

It can only confirm what has been an open secret all this while: That Muhyiddin never had actual confidence of the majority of the parliamentarians, a fact which was made crystal on the morning of his swearing in as the 8th prime minister, when Mahathir Mohamad had irrefutable evidence of 114 members of parliament backing him to remain as the premier.

At this juncture, Muhyiddin will then be left with either to request the king to dissolve the House, paving the way for another general election, or tender the resignation of his Cabinet. It is pertinent to state that only the king can dissolve the House, Muhyiddin can only request so but the final say is not his.

With all due respect: Even though a general election or snap election is an option, with Covid-19 rearing its ugly head again, it will be burdening the rakyat and stretching the resources of the government. The cost to carry out an election of this magnitude would be staggering, and the effort would be probably better utilised to fight the current pandemic.

The king can then move on to another option, namely to use his discretion to appoint Muhyiddin’s replacement. And for this, the king may refer to Article 43 of the Constitution again, albeit this time to appoint a new Cabinet headed by a new prime minister to carry out the executive authority of the federation.

For this, the king may act on his own discretion, of course guided by the rule of law. And that can be seen from a combination of Article 43(2)(a) and Article 55 of the Constitution. The prime minister is chosen from 221 parliamentarians (as it currently stands due to the untimely death of the member from Batu Sapi).

The king has options

And only the king may from “time to time summon parliament…,” according to Article 55 of the Constitution.

Hence, the only clear way to resolve the impasse is to have all 221 parliamentarians ensconced in the Dewan Rakyat (Lower House) and vote on the no-confidence motion filed by Langkawi which has been buried beneath mundane government bills and matters purely for Muhyiddin’s survival. Only when that motion has been carried out, then Muhyiddin will have lost his majority.

Immediately, the same 221 parliamentarians will then vote on whom amongst them wields the confidence of the majority of the House, and the result then will be presented to the king. That person will have open endorsement made public not by way of written undertaking and oaths – which have been proven on numerous occasion in the past just mere promises not being kept to.

The above scenario was the exact mode which Mahathir Mohamad had wanted to adopt when he suddenly resigned back in February this year. One may recollect that upon tendering his resignation and being installed as the interim prime minister, the first order of business he angled for was to move parliament for a special sitting by virtue of Standing Order 11(3) of the Standing Order of Dewan Rakyat which was to test his legitimacy as prime minister to resolve the conundrum faced by the country at that time.

That was rule of law. There was no press conference called, no congratulatory messages or no so-called Cabinet list floating about. Unfortunately the request for the special sitting was denied.

Leader for the good of the rakyat

It is worth noting that the country needs a leader who is not afraid to make unpopular decisions for the good of the rakyat. Someone who has successfully navigated Malaysia through the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, the 1998-1999 Anwar Ibrahim sacking, the major watershed moment in our nation’s history in May 2018 and indeed a leader who is until now looked upon by other countries to fight for the rights of the downtrodden.

The king has exhibited his acumen for the betterment of the rakyat and that will be tested again in the coming weeks.

So, whatever happens on October 13, let’s hope the rule of law prevails for the good of Malaysia. May the 9th prime minister –  if there is to be any – be someone who is tried, tested and will not be found wanting.

*Muhammad Rafique is an advocate and solicitor based in Shah Alam



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Malaysian opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim announced late last month that his Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) coalition had secured enough defectors from the government of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to have the required majority of 112 supporters in parliament. To formally claim the prime minister’s role, he has been granted an audience with Malaysia’s king on October 13.What will happen on that day? By Muhammad Rafique* Nothing. Despite all the showmanship and the guessing game on the perennial quest for numbers, one has to bear in mind that we are, after all, in a constitutional democracy guided by the rule...

Malaysian opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim announced late last month that his Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) coalition had secured enough defectors from the government of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to have the required majority of 112 supporters in parliament. To formally claim the prime minister’s role, he has been granted an audience with Malaysia’s king on October 13.
What will happen on that day?

By Muhammad Rafique*

Nothing. Despite all the showmanship and the guessing game on the perennial quest for numbers, one has to bear in mind that we are, after all, in a constitutional democracy guided by the rule of law.

On October 13, the Constitution will come into play again. In all likelihood at the royal audience granted to him, Anwar’s camp will endeavour to present to the king the much vaunted (by his camp at least) “documentation of the strong and convincing majority of members of parliament” supporting him as the prime minister designate to Muhyiddin.

However, at its highest that can only trigger one of two events. And this can be seen from the workings of Article 43(4) of the Federal Constitution. If Anwar’s camp is successful in evincing the alleged support via either statutory declarations and/or letters of respective party whips, that alone cannot ensure that he walks out of the National Palace as the 9th prime minister.

Confirming an open secret

It can only confirm what has been an open secret all this while: That Muhyiddin never had actual confidence of the majority of the parliamentarians, a fact which was made crystal on the morning of his swearing in as the 8th prime minister, when Mahathir Mohamad had irrefutable evidence of 114 members of parliament backing him to remain as the premier.

At this juncture, Muhyiddin will then be left with either to request the king to dissolve the House, paving the way for another general election, or tender the resignation of his Cabinet. It is pertinent to state that only the king can dissolve the House, Muhyiddin can only request so but the final say is not his.

With all due respect: Even though a general election or snap election is an option, with Covid-19 rearing its ugly head again, it will be burdening the rakyat and stretching the resources of the government. The cost to carry out an election of this magnitude would be staggering, and the effort would be probably better utilised to fight the current pandemic.

The king can then move on to another option, namely to use his discretion to appoint Muhyiddin’s replacement. And for this, the king may refer to Article 43 of the Constitution again, albeit this time to appoint a new Cabinet headed by a new prime minister to carry out the executive authority of the federation.

For this, the king may act on his own discretion, of course guided by the rule of law. And that can be seen from a combination of Article 43(2)(a) and Article 55 of the Constitution. The prime minister is chosen from 221 parliamentarians (as it currently stands due to the untimely death of the member from Batu Sapi).

The king has options

And only the king may from “time to time summon parliament…,” according to Article 55 of the Constitution.

Hence, the only clear way to resolve the impasse is to have all 221 parliamentarians ensconced in the Dewan Rakyat (Lower House) and vote on the no-confidence motion filed by Langkawi which has been buried beneath mundane government bills and matters purely for Muhyiddin’s survival. Only when that motion has been carried out, then Muhyiddin will have lost his majority.

Immediately, the same 221 parliamentarians will then vote on whom amongst them wields the confidence of the majority of the House, and the result then will be presented to the king. That person will have open endorsement made public not by way of written undertaking and oaths – which have been proven on numerous occasion in the past just mere promises not being kept to.

The above scenario was the exact mode which Mahathir Mohamad had wanted to adopt when he suddenly resigned back in February this year. One may recollect that upon tendering his resignation and being installed as the interim prime minister, the first order of business he angled for was to move parliament for a special sitting by virtue of Standing Order 11(3) of the Standing Order of Dewan Rakyat which was to test his legitimacy as prime minister to resolve the conundrum faced by the country at that time.

That was rule of law. There was no press conference called, no congratulatory messages or no so-called Cabinet list floating about. Unfortunately the request for the special sitting was denied.

Leader for the good of the rakyat

It is worth noting that the country needs a leader who is not afraid to make unpopular decisions for the good of the rakyat. Someone who has successfully navigated Malaysia through the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997, the 1998-1999 Anwar Ibrahim sacking, the major watershed moment in our nation’s history in May 2018 and indeed a leader who is until now looked upon by other countries to fight for the rights of the downtrodden.

The king has exhibited his acumen for the betterment of the rakyat and that will be tested again in the coming weeks.

So, whatever happens on October 13, let’s hope the rule of law prevails for the good of Malaysia. May the 9th prime minister –  if there is to be any – be someone who is tried, tested and will not be found wanting.

*Muhammad Rafique is an advocate and solicitor based in Shah Alam



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

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Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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