Sunday, November 20, 2022

Respect the mandate


Pakatan Harapan          82 seats

Parikatan Nasional       73 seats

Barisan Nasional          30 seats

GPS                              22 seats

GRS                               6 seats

Warisan                          3 seats

*Two seats to be contested at a later date due to candidates’ demise 

Malaysia, Nov 20: While we slept, yes while the nation slept, Perikatan Nasional chairman Muhyddin Yasin told the nation that his coalition, which had garnered the second largest number of seats in the GE15, had secured “a letter with instructiions” from the Palace to form a new government.

I don’t know about you but I felt that this was not right. The image of the Yang Dipertuan Agong despatching such a letter in the dead of night to Muhyddin (or Mahiaddin) and not Anwar Ibrahim, whose coalition had won the largest number of seats at the election, just doesn’t sit well.

But that was what Muhyiddin @ Mahiaddin claimed to have happened. Around midday, the former PM posted a tweet about a meeting he had just had with the leaders of two other coalitions, GPS and GRS, purportedly to discuss the formation of a government.

In the meantime, Anwar, the only one who can claim that his coalition has more than one-third of the Dewan Rakyat (PH won 82 of the 220 seats contested, which works out to 36.9 per cent; PH won 73 or 33.1 per cent) has not gotten any “letter with instructions” from the YDP Agong. 

How come?

Article 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution provides that the YDPA shall first appoint a PM who is a Dewan Rakyat member who in his judgement is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Dewan. Read The Prime Minister’s appointment after GE15.

No one coalition managed to cross the 112-seat threshold to form a simple majority in Parliament and that’s why we are having an impasse now, where no one party or coalition has enough numbers to form the next government. 

But common sense, and perhaps even fair play, dictates that the leader of the coalition that won the most number of seats - and that would be Anwar not Muhyddin - would be the most likely to command the support of the majority of the members of the Dewan Rakyat. The King ought to give him the first shot, no?

So why did Muhyddin jump the gun? I had no answer to this chap sitting across my table during breakfast at McD here in Ampang.

“I slept at 4am, sir. What time did our Agong give this Muhyiddin the haha letter?”

The Palace will have to respond sooner or later to this developing crisis. Don’t let gilakuasa politicians take the nation for a ride again. Listen to the people’s wishes. Respect the voters and their choice. Respect the mandate.

We the people are waiting, watching. So much have been stolen from us lately. Will one more mandate robbed even matter? 

Or would it be the straw that finally breaks the camel’s back?

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