Faithless is he who says farewell when the road darkens.– J R R Tolkien, English writer, poet, and creator of the “Lord of the Rings’
The recent Monday night putsch, at the time of writing, which occasioned the resignation of the Malaysian prime minister also saw the exodus of 10 MPs who resigned from the political party they represented before and after the elections which entrenched them in the Dewan Rakyat in the first place.
Their loyalty to their chosen leader was obviously a non-issue, but their loyalty to their constituents who entrusted them to represent their aspirations and expectations is questionable. Were their constituents told that they will quit their political party when expedient?
There ought to be a law to outlaw these scofflaws. After all, salus populi est suprema lege – the welfare of the people is the supreme law. A refreshing election slogan, supremely forgotten after the elections.
Forget the politics and the politicians, and let’s see the trees for the forest. Our Yang di-Pertuan Agong (The Agong) should be hailed and lauded with constitutional bouquets when His Majesty stepped in to exercise his constitutional powers granted at Article 43 and Article 55 of the Federal Constitution (FC).
Convention and the law seem to jump in and out of the shadows when a sitting prime minister resigns. For example, Article 43(4) FC highlights such a scenario: “If the Prime Minister ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the House of Representatives, then, unless at his request the Yang di-Pertuan Agong dissolves Parliament, the Prime Minister shall tender the resignation of the Cabinet.”
Is such resignation tantamount to losing the confidence of the House’s majority? In the present ongoing series and sequence of events, Parliament has not been dissolved because His Majesty has mandated the appointment of a caretaker prime minister.
The Cabinet has resigned by the looks of it. The Agong, ostensibly in deference to Article 43(2)(a) FC, has decided to interview all the MPs to decide who in His Majesty’s judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the House of Representatives as prime minister.
His Majesty’s judgment is the key to his determination and decision under the law further buttressed by Article 39 FC which vests the executive authority of the Federation in His Majesty’s person and office.
Gratifying to see the supreme law of the land at work for the good and well-being of the people. The Agong reigns and rules as kingmaker and rainmaker, constitutionally, for the People. It has never happened before in our political typhoons.
The Agong has the power to prorogue or dissolve Parliament under Article 55(2) FC. Proroguing is preferable as it discontinues the deliberations of Parliament without dissolving it because dissolving would necessitate elections again.
Here, the Agong has stepped up to the plate to make sure the welfare of the people is the supreme law. Laudable. I doubt there are hidden hands, motives and agendas. The plot hastens.
If the Agong is convinced that fractured political parties are ruling the roost with no clear evidence or proof of a coalition of parties likely to constitute the majority required to form a government, His Majesty will have no other constitutional choice but to dissolve Parliament paving the way to another bout of elections. This is where Sarawak’s GPS plays troubleshooter, kingmaker and rainmaker as well.
GPS, at this momentous time, is an extremely strong, rare, once-in-a-lifetime position to constitutionally demand its long-lost, long-abandoned and long-forgotten rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 when calls for a referendum and “independence” are getting loud.
The tea leaves indicate that Dr. Mahathir will not shove aside DAP and PKR which have almost 102 seats in the Dewan Rakyat ten seats short of forming a government which is where Bersatu’s seats will become crucial.
The pundits and prophets of profit doubt he would forge an alliance with Umno and PAS. GPS and Warisan would be free to show support but not join the fray unless the new federal government is willing to abide by Sarawak’s rightful demands to restore its original rights under the provisions of the original Malaysia Agreement 1963.
There are no more Red scares, threats and menaces from within and without which means GPS holds all the trump cards in the bargaining table of political fortunes.
When terror reigns, karma rains unexpected Providence. I am certain there is a Supreme Power at play which humankind may not be aware of, but the visitation is well-timed.
This is the time for positive progress with acceptable and agreeable changes for Sarawak. Loyalties have been questioned and challenged.
Some say that loyalty is about people who stay true to you behind your back. It has also been said that loyalty is to be rewarded with loyalty while disloyalty is to be rewarded with distance. All’s well that ends well?
The views expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the New Sarawak Tribune.