Agong has ‘embarrassed’ the PM once; will he do so again?

WILL the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah for the second time during his reign reject the motion of his subject – the Prime Minister of Malaysia – when the latter has an audience with him at 4pm today to seek his consent to dissolve Parliament thus paving way for the 15th General Election (GE15) to be held as early as mid-November?

Recall that the King had on Oct 25, 2020 “courageously” (to borrow the word of Pasir Gudang MP Hassan Abdul Karim) rejected the request of the then PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to declare a state of emergency as the ruler understands that in Article 150 of the Federal Constitution, the prerogative to declare an emergency lies with him.

“Based on the tradition and practice of parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy, I am of the view that the Agong’s rejection is a slap in the PM and Perikatan Nasional (PN) Government’s face,” quipped the PKR lawmaker of the incidence.

Fast forward two years down the road, would the Yang di-Pertuan Agong – again – lend his ears to the voices of the vast majority of Malaysians except a handful belonging to the so-called UMNO’s ‘court cluster’ who are rallying for an early election with the sole aim of saving their skin so to speak.

As the Istana Negara comes under the spotlight, it is worthwhile mentioning that Muhyiddin’s successor Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob is shouldering a heavy task to convey ‘the mandate’ of UMNO president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi – something out of his free will probably – during his routine weekly briefing for the King before tomorrow’s (Oct 7) Cabinet meeting and the tabling of Budget 2023.

Whether Budget 2023, which is a crucial safeguard to the country’s deteriorating economy will ever see the daylight or otherwise, now lies squarely in the Agong’s good judgment.

Recall that in 1999, the Budget 2000 was tabled on Oct 29 while parliament was dissolved on Nov 11 and elections were held on Nov 29. Even with the Barisan Nasional (BN) holding on to its two-third majority, Budget 2000 could only be re-tabled in parliament on Feb 25, 2000, almost three months after polling day.

It is indeed sad that just to fulfil the selfish objective of certain unscrupulous quarters, not only that the already impoverished country has to fork out an additional RM1 bil to hold an election amid a wet  monsoon season, nobody can be sure if even the Election Commission’s (EC) has the expertise to organise a poll during such an extraordinary period.

Ironically, even before the King has made up his mind, some ministers are already emptying their offices in anticipation of a dissolution – oblivious to the fact that the Agong has the prerogative not to consent the PM’s proposal or even if the PM himself would have a last minute guilty conscience of ‘betraying’ the trust of the entire citizenry.

If supposedly, the Agong consents to the motion of his subject, the ninth PM of Malaysia, for the Parliament to dissolve with immediate effect so that GE15 can be held before the start of the monsoon spell, then veteran lawmaker Lim Kit Siang’s latest source may be accurate: “Oct 6 parliament dissolved; Nov 5 GE”. – Oct 6, 2022

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