Malaysian politics in limbo after the crown’s intervention
Malaysia: Malaysia’s politics is on fire as the incumbent Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin decided to dissolve the parliament to prepare for the General Election 15 after losing the majority, however, the King Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah of Pahang might refuse the dissolution request and appoint a new prime minister.
The intense politicking or rather, the power struggle among the political elites continues. The main object of contention is, of course, control over the government.
With speculation that the cabinet will discuss the dissolution of parliament today, constitutional lawyers said there is no obligation for Yang di-Pertuan Agong to accept any advice on what to do afterward.
The Founder Vice-President, Barisan Sosialis, and former Malaysian Member of Parliament for Nibong Tebal, Dominic Puthucheary and Lawyer Bastian Pius Vendargon agree that the dissolution of Parliament would be the decision of the king under the Federal Constitution.
Reportedly, he can decide on the next course of action if an election is deemed unwise during the pandemic.
According to Puthucheary, the constitution then allows the King to choose the candidate most likely to command majority support.
As per a Malaysian news agency, The Coverage, the word ‘likely’ is used because the King does not know whether they have the confidence of the people and the Dewan Rakyat. The next step, as a matter of constitutional duty, is to go to the Dewan Rakyat and get a vote of confidence.
Puthucheary maintained that as PM Yassin has until now not tested his majority in Parliament, it would be fair to call him “the de facto prime minister, not a constitutional one.
“Insofar as he was appointed by the King, he has not gained the endorsement of the Dewan Rakyat as required in a constitutional parliamentary democracy,” he asserted.
Vendargon highlighted that the King could instruct the prime minister to call for an immediate parliamentary sitting to determine who commands the majority support of MPs if the PM would not resign.
“The prime minister can be instructed to call for Parliament to sit so the MPs can decide among themselves who has majority support,” he said, adding that the person could then return to the King with the mandate of the Dewan Rakyat and the King can appoint him or her as the new prime minister.
Both lawyers agreed that a new leader must get the mandate of the people to rule as per the precedent set during the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis.
Puthucheary highlighted that the Court of Appeal and Federal Court had “botched it” with rulings that the change of Perak’s government was constitutional, calling it a “political decision with no basis in constitutional law.
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