Anwar and Mahiaddin: Who is the contender and who is the pretender?

Both should be asked to provide evidence of majority support by submitting the names of the MPs supporting them

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The Agong has on three occasions asked for Parliament to reconvene immediately without as much as a courteous response from Mahiaddin Yasin.

The prime minister gives the impression that he is not beholden to the decrees of the Agong. He has remained dumb!

Legal experts are divided in their opinion of whether the Agong is bound to follow the advice of the PM or whether the PM is not bound to follow the decree of the Agong. This issue will remain speculative without a definitive decision unless the Federal Court is enlisted to make a ruling.

On the other hand, this issue can be simply resolved without resorting to the Federal Court. All that is necessary to prove is that the prime minister does not have majority support to remain in office. This fact has been validated when Padang Rengas MP Nazri Aziz and Machang MP Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub had openly withdrawn their support for the Perikatan Nasional government.

It was not proved but merely assumed that Mahiaddin had the simple majority support of 113 MPs when he was appointed prime minister. With these two Umno MPs publicly withdrawing their support, Mahiaddin no longer enjoys majority support to remain as or claim to be the PM of the day.

Under the circumstances, to avoid relying on expressions reported in the media, the Agong should ask Mahiaddin to provide evidence of majority support by submitting the names of the MPs who are actually standing with him. At the same time, the Agong should also ask Anwar Ibrahim, who had claimed the right to be the PM, to provide the names of his supporters to prove he has the support to succeed Mahiaddin.

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This will clearly establish the fact as to who is the real contender and who is the pretender.

This humble suggestion to determine who deserves to be the PM could rescue us from the present impasse and allow us to move on to serve the nation democratically.

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Ban Cheng Tan
Ban Cheng Tan
2 Jul 2021 7.51pm

On the evolving facts, what former Aliran president Mr P. Ramakrishnan is saying is that commentators and journalists must command a clear mind to look at the “running” situation as it presents itself, by:

(1) Teasing out the facts on the parliamentary majority of 113;
(2) Taking away the two public withdrawals of support;
(3) Ascertaining that the Speaker has been so informed; and,
(4) Establishing who is the pretender and who is the contender.

Then, after establishing the final and settled result of the “moving” situation, apply the substantive law to the facts.

Notably, journalists and commentators, including lawyers, are caught between the procedure and the law. I am of course amused and bemused but not confused!