32-Day Countdown to 13GE – Najib should declare whether he going to fully serve out the next 48 days as the longest unelected PM until Parliament is automatically dissolved

At the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat Government’s fifth anniversary rally at Shah Alam last night, I said that from March 9, Malaysia does not have a legitimate Prime Minister as Datuk Seri Najib Razak for the following reasons:

  • he still dare not dissolve Parliament to hold the 13th general elections although he has already become the country’s longest unelected Prime Minister without a mandate of his own.

  • he has put the country on an election-mode for four years, deserving an entry into the Guinness Book of Records as there is no other country whose head of government had been on a campaign footing for such a long time. In fact, it can be truly said that Najib’s one and only job since becoming Prime Minister on April 4, 2009 is to campaign to be an elected Prime Minister in the long-awaited 13GE.

  • the expiry of the five-year natural life of the 12th Parliament which was elected on 8th March 2008.

Nobody is suggesting that Najib is an unlawful or unconstitutional Prime Minister but his legitimacy as Prime Minister has unquestionably been put in grave doubt – a plight never suffered by the five previous Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah.

Is the legitimacy of the Penang Chief Minister and the Mentri-Mentri Besar of Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan also affected?

Not at all, because all of them, like the heads of the other state governments, had an elected mandate from the voters in the 2008 general elections, which is not the case with Najib.

Furthermore, the dissolution of the Pakatan Rakyat-run state governments of Penang, Kedah, Selangor and Kelantan, like the other state governments (except Sarawak) hinges on the dissolution of Parliament.

With Parliament and all the state legislatures (except Sarawak) entering into the final lap of their constitutional existence with the expiry of their five-year natural life, arguments seem to be more in favour of simultaneous instead of separate parliamentary/state assembly elections in view of time constraints and problems of logistics in conducting elections.

Najib should not avoid the issue of legitimacy of his premiership and there are two measures which he can take, viz:

  • Publicly declare acceptance of the concept and principles of Caretaker Prime Minister leading a Caretaker Cabinet which should not make any major or substantive decisions whether concerning policy, appointments, contractual obligations or abuse and misuse of the public service, whether personnel, resources and public funds without consultation with the Opposition until formation of new government after the 13GE; and

  • Publicly declare whether he going to fully serve out the next 48 days as the longest unelected Prime Minister (4 years and 23 days) until Parliament is automatically dissolved on April 27 or announce the date for Parliament’s dissolution for 13GE.

After procrastinating for four long years whether “To Dissolve or Not to Dissolve”, Najib has only 48 days to decide or the decision will made for him n with the automatic dissolution of Parliament on April 27 as provided by the Constitution.

Surely Najib cannot be so indecisive that he needs to procrastinate further.

He owes the nation and all Malaysians a duty to end the four-year election uncertainties by stating here and now the date of Parliament’s dissolution if it is going to be earlier than April 27.

Or is this a decision which is too difficult for Najib to make?

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Ipoh Timur