Can Rais Yatim give any convincing answer to my arguments that Monday’s Parliament is not in accordance of the Constitution?
I have with me a copy of the Parliament notice sent out to the 193 new MPs informing them of the date and business of the Parliamentary meeting from 20th to 23rd December 1999 to deal with 14 items of business.
The parliamentary notice, signed by the Setiausaha, Parlimen Malaysia, Datuk Mohd Salleh bin Haji Haji Hassan was dated 13th December 1999.
Article 55 of the Constitution vests power on the Yang di Pertuan Agong
to summon Parliament, but Article 40 provides that in exercising his functions,
the Yang di Pertuan Agong shall act in accordance with the advice of the
Cabinet, except for three specific matters where he "may act in his
The Yang di Pertuan Agong has no "discretion" but must act on Cabinet advice on the summoning of Parliament.
However, the new Cabinet Ministers were only sworn in on 14th December and the first Cabinet meeting held on 15th December 1999.
There was therefore no Cabinet to advice the Yang di Pertuan Agong before 15th December 1999 to summon Parliament - to authorise the proclamation of the Yang di Pertuan Agong to summon Parliament on Dec. 20, resulting in the Setiausaha Parlimen on 13th December issuing a notice to the 193 new MPs informing them of Monday’s meeting.
It does not require anyone to go to London University to get a doctorate in Public Law to know that the royal proclamation and the parliamentary notice dated Dec. 13, 1999 calling for a parliamentary meeting on 20th December 1999 are not in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and therefore null and void.
I had already suggested a way out where Parliament could still meet on Monday to elect the new Speaker and for the 193 new MPs to take their oaths. The royal proclamation and the parliamentary notice issued before the first Cabinet meeting on Dec. 15, 1999 should be revoked, and a new royal proclamation and parliamentary notice after the first Cabinet meeting issued in their place.
If the new Barisan Nasional government is going to start its new term of office by showing utter contempt for the Constitution and Parliament, it would be a reminder to all Malaysian voters what a costly price they are paying in failing to respond to the Barisan Alternative’s call to smash the Barisan Nasional political hegemony and two-thirds parliamentary majority.
In these circumstances, the 45 Barisan Alternative and PBS MPs should seriously consider the option of boycotting Monday’s Parliamentary meeting or the oath-taking session, as a protest against the Barisan Nasional government’s high-handed and arbitrary disregard of the Constitution and the rule of law as its first act in the tenth Parliament.
I am surprised by the remark by the former Speaker, Tun Mohd Zahir Ismail as reported in today’s Sun that I have no right to talk about this matter "being a non-MP". If Tun Zahir had been correctly reported, it does not reflect well on his status, dignity and experience as a four-term Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, former judge and former MP.