HEARTIEST congratulations, Anwar Ibrahim on your appointment as Malaysia’s 10th Prime Minister.
You are but only the head of the executive arm of the government. There are two other arms, that is, the legislature and the judiciary.
You have taken the oath of office to faithfully discharge the duties of said office to the best of your ability, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to Malaysia, and will preserve, protect and defend the Federal Constitution.
If I may now call on you to discharge your immediate duties:
1. Advise the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (the King) to appoint Ministers to constitute a Jemaah Menteri (Cabinet of Ministers) under Article 43(2)(b) of the Constitution. There has to be a Cabinet at all times and the King cannot dispense with the Cabinet at any point of time, even when Parliament is dissolved. You have committed yourself to a small Cabinet with two deputy prime ministers.
2. Advise the King to summon parliament which, under Article 55(4), is required to be summoned to meet on a date not later than 120 days from the date of the general election. However, parliament needs to be summoned before the year ends to authorise your government’s expenditure in 2023. For this, you need a Cabinet first.
3. Elect a Speaker and two Deputy Speakers of the Dewan Rakyat as required by Article 57(1). Elect means to choose someone to hold public office or some other position by voting. Impartiality and integrity are hallmarks of these office holders. In the words of a certain Art Harun, they must be persons of “integrity, who are fiercely independent and who know the procedure of parliament like the back of their hands. They must be able to exert control over all MPs properly so that there can be a discussion and a very civil but robust debate of matters of public importance.”
On a parting note, if I may, I call on you to adopt the inauguration speech of the first Caliph, Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (ra):
“O, People! I have been given the authority over you, and I am not the best of you. If I do well, help me, and if I do wrong, set me right. Sincere regard for truth is loyalty and disregard for truth is treachery. The weak amongst you shall be strong with me until I have secured his rights, if God wills, and the strong amongst you shall be weak with me until I have wrested from him the rights of others, if God wills. Obey me so long as I obey God and His Messenger. But if I disobey God and His Messenger, you owe me no obedience. Arise for your prayer, God have mercy upon you.”
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.