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Saturday, June 19, 2021

YOURSAY | PM appears to be hard of hearing on reopening Parliament

 


YOURSAY | ‘I shall ‘take note’. Two words that say it all.’

PMO 'takes note' of royal stand, will act according to Constitution

Dr Raman Letchumanan: The underlying spirit of the Constitution and the basis of democracy is that the three pillars - legislative, executive and judiciary - are independent and act as check-and-balances for each other. No one pillar is higher than the other or worse, can subjugate others.

The premier is preventing the legislative from convening despite Agong's advice. If in doubt what “as soon as possible” means, the prime minister should seek clarification from the Agong, not let his ministers or his office issue nonsensical statements disrespecting the Agong.

This is a blatant violation of the Constitution. The powers of the cabinet and prime minister are not absolute. It has to be exercised judiciously, not for one's survival or self-interest.

Article 39 says the executive authority of the federation shall be vested in the Agong and exercisable by him or the cabinet. Reading this alone would mean the Agong can take back the executive role at any time, but subsequent articles circumvent this, for example, needing to act on the advice of the cabinet, etc.

So, the prime minister and cabinet should realise they cannot tie the hands of the Agong from whom they derived their executive powers in the first place.

Legal eagles are fond of endlessly arguing either way by looking at each article but in case of ambiguity or inconsistency, the judiciary always falls back to the democratic spirit of the Constitution.

However, the PM is now acting supreme, like a dictator. This is certainly not what our Constitution intended.

Indeed, this backdoor illegitimate government owes its rule to the Agong. The Agong, in his sole discretionary judgement, had decided to place his confidence in Muhyiddin Yassin, even in the face of Pakatan Harapan parading its “majority” MPs.

The PM knows this. That’s why he refused to test his confidence in Parliament. The Agong could have chosen others or let Parliament meet and take a vote. The rakyat would have been spared the agony of the last 15 months and the country would be in better shape.

So Muhyiddin, don't bite the hand that fed you or be like kacang lupakan kulit (ungrateful). For your own good, implement the royal advice “as soon as possible”, not just “take note”.

The rulers have rightly aligned themselves with the rakyat. And remember, the rakyat are supreme. They can choose the government they want. Remember the 14th general election?

Vijay47: I shall “take note”. Two words that say it all. Two words that come close to breaching the limits of majestic tolerance.

The irony is two-fold. The first is that in assuring that the Constitution will be complied with, the prime minister, in further irony of himself having two names, may actually be correct.

According to the Federal Constitution, the supreme law of the land, we are a constitutional monarchy - a status not to be usurped by anyone.

You invoke the Federal Constitution? Where was it then, Muhyiddin Yassin @ Mahiaddin Yassin, when you first rode into town to stake your claim to the premiership?

Did the Constitution not demand that you validate your frail case by proving you commanded the support of the majority in the House? You conveniently disregarded that primary provision, busy as you were inviting hordes of unworthy cretins into your cabinet, rewarding them with plums and cherries to assure yourself of mercenary loyalty.

Ridding the nation of Muhyiddin @ Mahiaddin may be the wishes of all but everyone has been driven into a cul-de-sac from where we can only watch in helpless dismay.

Yet, in hoping on forces outside the Constitution and Parliament, we are on thin ice where angels and devils should never tread. What if tomorrow, the same royal intervention is meted on less popular objectives? Let us be cautious of what we wish for. Let us ensure that Pandora remains locked in the box.

Who would have ever thought that this two-faced politician had it in him to tell the palace, “Don’t call me, I’ll call you”?

Makcik Liar: I believe our Yang di-Pertuan Agong would have thought long and hard to either mention “immediately” and cause Muhyiddin to lose face, or use a gentler “as soon as possible” and hope that he got the hint that Parliament needed to convene real soon.

Clearly, he decided to do the latter.

And now the prime minister’s supporters are bandying around the term “as soon as possible” as if this gives them ample time to call Parliament to convene at their chosen date.

How is the prime minister able to anticipate the number of cases dipping down to 2,000 a day? If it doesn’t, that will be the basis for his 100th Perutusan Khas (Special Message) that we unfortunately have to move back a phase in his so-called exit plan. This way, Parliament may never reopen anytime soon.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Parliament and Law) Takiyuddin Hassan and Muhyiddin’s actions and words could be deemed treasonous to the king and more so going against the spirit of the Constitution.

But then, do we expect a thief who entered through the back door to realise he’s doing something wrong?

Poppy: There was a statement made earlier in February by the Agong about convening Parliament. At that time, Muhyiddin did not heed it. Nothing came out of it.

Now, we have another statement from the Agong with no deadline. The same answer comes from the Prime Minister’s Office - thank you, noted.

So, it is back to square one for the people. Back to waiting for Muhyiddin to act on the instruction given. But the instruction comes without a deadline. This opens more opportunities for Muhyiddin to bide his time and make the people suffer the consequences of a failed administration.

LCS: You cannot favour a condition that benefits your interest if you truly believe in the concept of a constitutional monarchy. I fear that this would open the doors to more authoritarian rule.

Our society's thought process is not mature as evidenced by the comments on any social media platform. Certain malicious parties will take advantage of this using the pretext of “the ends justify the means”.

An example of this pretext is how Harapan threw away their principles to ally themselves with former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to overthrow then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak. The people wanted Najib gone so badly, they didn’t care who replaced him.

See what happened to our country because of this folly? See what happened in early-2020 when the pandemic was on our doorstep? What were our leaders doing?

Fighting for power and turning to the one body in Malaysia that no one dares question for fear of imprisonment or worse. Now, tell me, is this democracy you stand for? - Mkini

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