After defectors tipped up the table with their secretly planned coup in February, the former prime minister, veteran leader Dr Mahathir, requested an emergency recall of Parliament to test who had the majority. That was the correct thing to do under the constitution.
However, he was outmanoeuvred, thanks to his own botched resignation, and the Agong took his opportunity to decide that, according to his apparent soundings, one of the defectors – the so-called ‘PM8′, who had pretended allegiance to Mahathir until the last moment – commanded the confidence of the majority of MPs.
How the Agong reached that honest conclusion is his particular constitutional role. However, it conflicted with the actual statements the King/Agong had troubled to take from each and every MP who were all invited to attend the palace to extend their preference.
From that MP’s roster, which has been leaked, it could be divined that the PKR leader, Anwar Ibrahim, had the majority support (reportedly 92 votes) and that his Harapan colleague and leader, the former prime minster, Dr Mahathir, came second (reportedly 65 votes).
Out of a total of 220 MPs the current ‘PM8′ came nowhere.
Nevertheless, it is the particular constitutional right of the Agong to come to his honest conclusions as to the actual views of MPs, which he declared to be in favour of ‘PM8′.
That was the Agong’s role completed. The next stage is for the proposed most popular candidate to prove that he can indeed command a majority in Parliament. The deposed PM7 was absolutely and constitutionally correct to demand that the sovereign body of Malaysia, which is Parliament (the voted represented body of the people) should be recalled to confirm that honest, best guesstimate which had been put forward by the Agong. Period.
Instead, the unconfirmed ‘PM8′ chose to prorogue Parliament, which had been scheduled to resume the following week. Everyone agreed openly that this was because in ‘traditional Malaysian style’ he needed more time to buy supporters before daring to test his previously non-existent support. How embarrassing is that for Malaysia, which since GE14 had convinced many in the world that it was emerging into a more modern, law abiding government?
For an unconfirmed PM to prorogue Parliament to avoid a vote of confidence is definitely illegal and was an abuse of the royal prerogative by ‘PM8′. Sarawak Report can say this with confidence, because at the end of last year the UK’s Boris Johnson tried to pull a similar trick, because he also had a numbers issue and wanted to avoid being constantly defeated over Brexit.
However, Britain’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the UK’s PM had acted illegally in doing so, since it conflicted with the sovereign rights of Parliament as the overall decision making chamber. Boris was forced to call an election instead.
Probably owing to the descent of the Covid 19 crisis the unconfirmed ‘PM8′ has managed to avoid any such legal contest and he got away with delaying Parliament until the last date allowed under the constitution between sittings, which is May 18th. That ought to give him enough time, it was widely reckoned in Malaysia, to perpetrate enough corrupt practices to ‘buy over’ enough MPs! (How embarrassing is that?).
As the unconfirmed ‘opposition’ (the former elected government) bided its time for a chance to test its own claimed majority on the floor of the house, the unconfirmed ‘PM8′ and his allies have gone about doing just that – buying MPs.
Under the cover of Covid a truly shocking and unprecedented scale of distributing placements has got underway, both at federal and state level by the minority parties and rag-tag rebels involved in the February backdoor coup.
Sadly, it seems clear that the unreconstructed parties of UMNO and PAS, who were rightly rejected at the last election, have been so drenched in decades of corrupt practice that they fail even to understand what the rest of the world can see, which is the difference between what is corrupt and what isn’t. That is pretty dismal for a party that purports to be based on religion in the case of PAS and pretty embarrassing for Malaysia.
First, ‘PM8′ has appointed a simply ENORMOUS and bloated cabinet containing as many of his ragtag collection of rebels and minority parties as he can possibly get away with. He did for now leave out the mega-crooks and warlords of UMNO, since including fellows facing giant corruption charges was even a step too far for old-school BN – and anyway he wants to keep the real powers behind his government at bay.
The likes of Najib and Zahid have been left to chaff and bide their time, with Najib threatening to sue Sarawak Report once his trials have been apparently rigged, as he appears confident they will be, to get him off the hook.
This means that Malaysia is now being run by a bunch of jumped-up nitwits to a large extent, holding office purely because they represent a number in a coalition that is short of loyal MPs – fellows like Sarawak’s former ‘native land rights crusaders’, Ali Biju and Willie Mongan, who have jumped excitedly into an administration of Malay supremacists, PAS bigots and Taib cronies, just so they can be called minister and enjoy an official car and salary.
Who cares about the constituents these erstwhile champions of the underdog betrayed? Apparently, not them.
‘PM8′ has not stopped there, as everyone knows. Whilst piously preaching to all and sundry that his government has been overwhelmingly focused on its botched up management of Covid 19 and its draconian (but highly convenient) lockdown orders, his administration has in fact been flat out focused on sacking swathes of officials and replacing them with cronies, whilst also dishing out plum consolation posts to all those who didn’t get into the record sized cabinet.
Everyone can see and has commented on what was going on, but to make it even more embarrassing the morally blind Secretary General of the PAS ‘religious’ party, Takiyuddin Hassan, has spelt it out. He publicly promised that all MPs who had joined the coup would be getting a simultaneous, well-paid and prestigious job as a chairman of one of the country’s ‘GLCs’ (government linked companies).
This, as anyone from any other country as well as Malaysia can see, represents breathtakingly blatant corruption. However, the remaining PAS leadership appears to have become so morally blind they don’t even try to hide such an outrageous pilfering of the public purse by the very people elected to guard the national wealth and interests – few if any of whom are qualified to sit on such boards in the first place.
Takiyuddin‘s main object was to advertise the offer openly to prevent any of the losers in the cabinet race from deciding to head back over to their original parties or the opposition. After all, his is a party whose leader has condoned lies as being in keeping with the Lord as long as it is to the benefit of their own ‘religious’ party. So, what can one expect?
Yet, it has now emerged that even after this extraordinary display of grotesque graft and flagrant abuses that would be outlawed as the most outrageous scandal in any law abiding country, this ‘PM8′ still remains insecure.
It turns out this week that he dare not test his numbers even on May 18th, despite the months of corrupt buying of MPs. The Covid crisis appears to remain his excuse for holding off calling Parliament, although in other genuine democracies the sovereign bodies of Parliament have been, to the contrary, immediately recalled and consulted in order to achieve proper authorisation and consensus on the actions to be taken.
‘PM8′ would rather push through enormous spending plans and other actions illegally, that is without getting the necessary approval of Parliament, at a time when even his very status as prime minister is unconfirmed and highly suspect.
This latest move is a further step of defiance not just of the spirit of the law but of the law itself, as laid down by Malaysia’s constitution. The constitution says that Parliament must be allowed to sit within every six months period. However, under the cover of Covid, ‘PM8′ now proposes that only the opening ceremony should be conducted and then the actual business of the sovereign body should be further illegally postponed for no less than a further two months (for now)!
The excuse is apparently health risks. It is allegedly NOT risky for parliamentarians to be seen on TV gathering together for the ceremony whilst the Agong conducts the opening as if ‘PM8′ were legitimate, thus giving him the appearance of legality he craves.
However, it IS allegedly risky for those parliamentarians to sit at a safe social distance (like everywhere else in the world) and take a vote on the massive borrowing and spending plans initiated by this unconfirmed coup coalition leader and other major decisions affecting the wellbeing of all Malaysians.
Meanwhile, over in the UK, Parliament was re-convened TODAY after a short recess, using video technology that allows 50 MPs in the chamber and the rest to speak online – BINGO, just one solution!
Everyone can see this matter for what it is, which is that ‘PM8′ is using Covid 19 as a continuing excuse to avoid a test of his legitimacy. After all, Malaysia has been treated almost daily to a slew of highly embarrassing revelations showing how these unreconstructed ministers, who elbowed their way back to power after being thrown out by GE14, have conducted themselves in the ‘old style’ manner of one rule for us and another for the rest of you throughout this lockdown period.
Whilst the population has been threatened, fined, imprisoned for alleged violations of ‘PM8’s’ movement control orders (MCOs), these coup coalition MPs and their family members have been caught time and again out and about, partying and meeting with constituents they want to butter up.
One benefit of the very draconian nature of the lockdown has been a reasonable management of the contagion of this dangerous disease, which has so far mainly been reported spreading amongst such bigwigs, who consider themselves above their own rules. The problems faced by the majority of the population have been of a largely different nature caused by incompetence and corruption in the management of the lockdown, resulting in lack of access to cash or food and they need to be addressed – by Parliament.
The ‘opposition’ parties are therefore rightly contesting this outrageous attempt to avoid allowing parliament to sit – or more to the point hold a vote of No Confidence that would expose ‘PM8′ for the continuing sham he is.
The Speaker, who ought to be elected by MPs without interference, is the official who ought to be in charge of managing the business of the House. He ought to be the one who decides what business MPs conduct in this situation and, as the man in charge of the Order Paper on behalf of MPs, he would doubtless overrule such nonsense if allowed.
However, once again the controversy has shed further light on the embarrassing mess that Malaysia’s pretend democracy has fallen into, its institutions having been deliberately eroded over the BN years by bogus conventions designed to put the sovereign power of the people’s representatives into the hands of a centralised party dictatorship instead.
This time the dictator is a man who does not even think he commands a sufficient majority to even dare let the pretend parliament be allowed to sit. However, ‘PM8′ plans to get away with this ‘opening’ of Parliament to do no business at all for just half a day, because in Malaysia it is not the Speaker who sets out the order of parliamentary business, but a law minister appointed by the unconfirmed ‘PM8’!
‘PM8′ knows that if the Speaker were allowed to set the Order Paper as in real democracies, then a No Confidence Motion would be at the top of it. So, ‘PM8′ is proposing to use the debasement of Malaysia’s democracy through the curtailment of the Speaker’s powers to continue to rule the country as an unconfirmed prime minister for as long as he can get away with it.
As one PKR MP has pointed out, once again PH has Dr Mahathir to blame for this mess, thanks to his failure to implement planned reforms post GE14, before the old guard seized their chance:
“In Malaysia Parliament officers are appointed as part of the government civil service (as opposed to Parliament officers), under the PM Department. So the most senior administrative officer has been bypassing the Speaker to issue statements. Plus Parliament operations and budget actually fall under law minister powers, not the Speaker. PH ministers completely failed to reform this and in fact Mahathir actively stopped any reforms on this front.”
And who is this appointed ‘law minister’ responsible for setting this bizarre order of the one day ‘sitting’ without business? Well, of course, it is none other than the same morally corrupted Mr Takiyuddin from PAS, who has been so keen to announce jobs for all the boys at the public expense.
Back at the start of the month, when ‘PM8′ seemed confident such measures should secure enough supportive MPs by May 18th this law minister who answers directly to the prime minister was happy to confirm parliament would sit for 15 days during which he said it would be possible to implement measures that would comply with the distancing requirements of any continuing lockdown.
Now, as the date looms it is clear that confidence has dissipated. Hence the new arrangements and the Order Paper empty of any opportunity to count the numbers or vote out the administration of ‘PM8′ and all the lovely jobs just handed out to all their chaps.
This latest abuse of Malaysia’s sham, tinkered-with parliamentary system reaches unprecedented lows – but it is also a sure sign of ‘PM8’s’ fragile grip on power.
How embarrassing for Malaysia it has all become.