Constitutional convention, minority govt in Perak

A MINORITY government has taken office north of Putrajaya in Ipoh. It is two hours and 20 minutes’ drive away.

On Monday, Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Kota Tampan assemblyman Saarani Mohamad was sworn in as Perak menteri besar (MB) in front of Sultan Nazrin Shah at Istana Iskandariah.

This was despite BN contributing the smallest number of seats (nine) to the assembly. Saarani, the caretaker MB, was reappointed after receiving support from 33 BN and Pakatan Harapan (PH) assemblymen.

The following day, 10 assemblymen – seven from PH and three from BN – were sworn in as executive councillors.

It is a minority government by constitutional convention literally at your doorstep, so to speak.

As explained earlier, the convention is for the caretaker MB to stay in power and be given the first chance to create a government.

He may decide to negotiate with another party or parties to build a coalition, or with another coalition to build a coalition of coalitions. He may form a minority government.

Importantly, it is constitutional. Article 16(2) of the Constitution of Perak states as follows:

The executive council shall be appointed as follows, that is to say –

(a) His Royal Highness shall first appoint, as menteri besar to preside over the executive council, a member of the assembly who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members; and

(b) he shall, on the advice of the menteri besar appoint between four and 10 other members.

Saarani has the confidence of the majority, thanks to the support of 24 PH assemblymen. His appointment complies with article 16(2)(a).

So, again, it is a minority government at state level expected to be formed also to the east of Putrajaya, in Pahang.

You find strange bedfellows, they say, in politics, but it is not happening at the federal level, yet.

The impasse continues, despite the convention at work, and the minority government formed, in Perak, and soon in Pahang. – November 24, 2022.

* Hafiz Hassan reads The Malaysian Insight.

* This is the opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insight. Article may be edited for brevity and clarity.

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  • I don't think this is a minority govt. This coalition together has the majority and its members are taking part in the government. A minority govt don't have the majority numbers but govern due to for eg CSA between the minority govt and other parties that allow it to govern without being part of the government

    Posted 10 months ago by Brave Malaysian · Reply