“Group of 114” has done it again, says former minister

THE group of 114 Parliamentarians (Group of 114) who has staged a coup to overthrow the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Government via the Sheraton Move has done it again by engineering the collapse of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s Government and prop up Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the 9th Prime Minister (PM9), said a former minister.

“Why is this Group of 114 so united and effective?

“It is not inconceivable that they could in the near future make another move to manipulate the system, engineer another collapse of the government and appoint another Prime Minister if some of them are not happy with PM9,” said Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim, in a Facebook post.

To prevent such recurrence in the future, he suggested that the Palace should consider “informing Parliamentarians that if the incumbent government falls for having no majority in Parliament, then the Palace will first invite the leader of the Opposition to form the government.”

According to Zaid, this is consistent with the Westminster convention – if the incumbent PM has lost support and resigns, the king must first invite the Opposition leader to form a government.

Zaid went on to refer to the work of Sir William Ivor Jennings, who play a key role in the framing of Malaysia’s Federal Constitution.

In Jennings’ book Cabinet Government, Jennings wrote that ‘The rule is that on the defeat and resignation of the PM, the Queen should first send for the leader of the Opposition.

‘This rule is the result of long practice, though it has hardened into a rule comparatively recently. Its basis is the assumption of the impartiality of the Crown.

‘The only method by which this can be demonstrated is to send at once for the leader of the Opposition.’

In the same book, added Zaid, Jennings recorded precedents where the Queen would always send for the Opposition leader first in the event of a power vacuum.

Among the Opposition leaders invited to form the government were Sir Robert Peel in 1841, Gladstone in 1868, and Lord Hartington in 1880.

Opposition leaders became Prime Ministers in 1905, 1924, and 1974 by this process.

“I would suggest to the new PM (Ismail Sabri) to persuade the Palace to adopt this well-established Westminster parliamentary practice to deter his friends in Group 114 from trying to unseat him and cause more instability.

“Certainly, if the king were to first invite Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to form the government, Anwar will have to find the 13 or 14 MPs to come to his side to form the government.

“With this knowledge that the King will invite the leader of the Opposition to form the government, the Group of 114 will remain loyal and will not betray Ismail Sabri,” Zaid opined.

The former law minister also pointed out that it would make the job of the Agong easier to follow the convention if the Opposition parties are united and accept Anwar as the leader.

“Recently we heard that Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal was also interested to be Prime Minister, and I am sure Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad still harbours the idea of taking over for the third time.

“The Opposition will be hard-pressed to defeat the Group of 114 unless they put the welfare of the Rakyat first, which means they must speak with one voice and present a united front to the King.

“If they want a new opposition leader, change him by all means, but they need to establish to the monarch their support to the opposition leader who is ready to take over the government,” he concluded.

By : Bernie Yeo – FOCUS MALAYSIA

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