From Terence Netto
You need not be a constitutional expert to know that with Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional unable to command a simple majority, a caretaker prime minister should be appointed.
And he should be asked to show a simple majority within a certain span.
You have heard of the phrase “The law is an ass”.
The phrase is from Charles Dickens’ novel Oliver Twist.
It simply means that governments have made laws that are stupid and go against reason. Hence the asininity of such laws.
Ditto, the constitution.
It contains a raft of principles that underlie its delineation of the way of proceeding of different branches of government.
When interpreters mangle the meaning of the underlying principles, they make an ass of the constitution.
But there is no provenance for a saying “The constitution is an ass” like there is for the law.
That is because there have been more instances of laws that have made an ass of the law than there have been instances of constitutional interpretation that have made an ass of constitutions.
In Malaysia right now, we will make an ass of the constitution if we try to determine – outside of its constitutionally prescribed place which is Parliament – the coalition leader who commands a simple majority of the Lower House’s members.
And that leader is the one whose coalition has emerged with the highest number of seats.
He has the right to be appointed as caretaker prime minister.
And he has to show within a certain time frame that he commands a simple parliamentary majority.
If he doesn’t, he is out.
Then the leader of the coalition with the next highest number of seats should get the chance to show he commands a simple majority.
It’s actually a no-brainer.
There is no cause for creating a hubbub over a no-brainer.
Terence Netto is a senior journalist and a FMT reader.
The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of FMT.