A caretaker of the government is not a 'caretaker government' and as such the Najib-regime cannot 're-appoint' themselves to the seat.
However when the ‘people’s power’ is hijacked during an election and a government is elected through undemocratic and unlawful means or if a government is practising bad governance and abuses its power, then it is deemed necessary for the rise of people power in the open to correct all these abuses.
The duty of Bersih being a non-political association of NGOs, is to demand for the return of the people’s democratic rights through electoral and political reforms before the general election, failing which it will rally for the people’s power to pressure the incumbent government to step down voluntarily or through force.
Under threats from the people’s power, there are four options for the Najib regime:
i) Direct the Election Commission (EC) to cleanse and overhaul the grossly fraudulent electrol roll
ii) Najib Tun Razak takes responsibility and resigns as the Prime Minister
iii) The whole cabinet takes responsibility and resigns en bloc and a new government appointed before the 13th general election (GE) to direct the EC to do the cleansing of the grossly tainted electoral roll
iv) Proceeds to dissolve parliament and calls for GE without executing the electoral reforms first as demanded
There were many past leaders and regimes in many countries, who refused to back down to the wishes of the people’s power and who were eventually overthrown. Many were ousted in violent ways by their own people.
We hope the Najib regime will not repeat the same mistakes committed by his peers.
Najib in cohorts with EC
However Najib, like a true despotic leader, will cling to power until he is overthrown.
So, he is most likely to choose to dissolve the parliament to pave the way for the 13 GE.
However before he agrees to dissolve the parliament he conspires with the EC to manipulate the electoral roll to his advantage.
The Najib regime and the EC work hand-in-glove to rig the electoral rolls by giving foreigners fake identity cards and creating phantom postal voters.
Both of these involve hundreds of thousands of voters to shore up support for Umno in the 13 GE.
Also the EC will delete the names of voters from the opposition strongholds without their consent and permission, and plans to cheat during the process of vote counting later.
The EC officers and election workers are in fact Umno (in peninsular Malaysia and Sabah) and PBB (Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu) people (in Sarawak).
The moment Najib announces the dissolution of the parliament with the grossly fraudulent electoral roll intact, his government no longer exists.
The authority that exists during that period is only the ‘caretaker of the government’ and not the caretaker government.
Hence the former government cannot appoint itself automatically to be the caretaker of the government.
Agung, the right authority
Under Article 39 of the federal constitution, the executive authority of the federation shall be vested in the Yang DiPertuan Agong.
Therefore the right authority to appoint a caretaker of the government is the King.
The Agung may appoint whoever among the members of parliament to become members of the caretaker body.
Bersih can then launch the Bersih 4.0 mammoth rallies which by then will achieve the status of a full fledged people’s power with a magnitude of 9.0 on the people power scale.
The people power led by Bersih can march to the Istana to call for the Agong to delay, to stop the election, and to appoint the Pakatan Rakyat MPs as the caretaker of the government in order to enable the latter to clean up the electoral roll first before the GE can be held.
Hence the Pakatan Rakyat MPs would request for some time to do the cleansing job which is to postpone the election date within the legal time frame according to the election law.
Awang Abdillah is a political analyst, writer and FMT columnist.