One person who has yet to resign following the ‘departure’ of the former PM cum ‘Caretaker PM’ and his cabinet is the Speaker appointed by them.
Art Harun, once better known as a satirist, has now instructed MPs on behalf of the Palace to take part in a charade identical to the one played when Mahathir resigned and was likewise reappointed as ‘Interim PM’. It appears to be a new Malaysian procedural invention.
This time the MPs will not be invited to the palace to discuss the matter, they will be expected to submit their choice by letter by tomorrow afternoon, like a piece of homework.
Of course, there is nothing incumbent on these MPs to abide by that letter any more than by their promises to the electorate or the various statutory declarations that have already been sent in to the Palace, as countless hopping activities bear witness.
The King should have no complaint, given he put the MPs to the same trouble back in February 2020 and then took not the slightest notice of what anyone said. He appointed someone whom not one MP had put forward as their leadership candidate not Anwar Ibrahim who received by far the most votes.
Yet the exercise is being reprised, perhaps with a view to focusing minds and providing time for long-shot dreamers to accept reality and carve agreements?
However, the process must soon move on as the country needs proper leadership in the pandemic that the ‘Caretaker PM’ has now admitted he had never imagined could be such a serious issue for his government!
Muhyiddin noted that his entire tenure had revolved around Covid-19. “At the time, the issue of Covid-19 was just beginning but I did not even imagine that it would come to this stage. In the last 18 months, my government has had a lot of jobs but it’s always about Covid-19. …I feel responsible when I read about the (Covid-19) death cases, suicides. At the end of it, I am in a way responsible and I don’t like that sort of thing to be put on my shoulder but as the prime minister, I have to bear it,” [Malaysiakini, Mahiaddin press conference]
Malaysia must move on without this fellow that MPs failed to nominate with good reason. Eventually, and for a good reason, the longstanding convention in established democracies is for the King to invite the leader with the strongest backing to attempt to form a government and if he can’t to dissolve parliament.
Clearly, Covid has coloured the situation by making an election undesired. However, it ought also to encourage at least temporary alliances amongst politicians, who allegedly hold the wellbeing of the same nation at heart, to beat the problem in the name of unity in return for an election soon?
It would be madness to repeat the mistakes of 2020 and select an PM that not one MP had identified (correctly) as being suited to the task.