(Petaling Jaya, Tuesday): CNN this morning reported the Reuters speculation
that Deputy UMNO President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will this
evening be announcing after UMNO and Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meetings
a long transition period for Datuk Seri Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to continue
as Prime Minister before passing
the baton to his deputy as the fifth Prime Minister of Malaysia.
I do not think the transition period for Mahathir to remain
as Prime Minister is likely to be long and the possibility of year-end general
election cannot be ruled out.
The plunge of the Kuala Lumpur stock market yesterday, with
the KLSE Composite Index recording its biggest loss in a day this year, falling
2.26 per cent or 16.85 points to 726.50, shows how jittery is the market to the
political uncertainties triggered by Mahathir’s sudden resignation
announcement at the UMNO General Assembly on Saturday and the maze of
contradictions and confusion surrounding Mahathir’s position as Prime
Minister, the transition and the succession issues.
The biggest but little-noticed casualty of these political
turmoils is Parliament, establishing
its utter political irrelevance, although it was described as the “heart of
the nation” by the Parliament Speaker, Tun Mohd. Zahir Ismail only yesterday
when opening a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) South East Asia
The proper place for any announcement about the future of
Mahathir as Prime Minister, and the transition plan for Mahathir to pass the
baton of government leadership to Abdullah, should be Parliament, especially
when Parliament is in session – although
the event can be telecast live to the nation.
The very fact that Parliament has been completely forgotten as the most proper forum for such an announcement, and for a parliamentary vote of confidence for such a transition plan for the transfer of powers of the Prime Minister, calls for an urgent fundamental review by the nation and people of the role of Parliament in the political process in Malaysia.