THE Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, ironically, appears to be ‘protecting’ Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob from Government lawmakers in Parliament.
This is tantamount to his faction, with 32 MPs in the ‘rebranded’ Barisan Nasional Plus government, virtually defecting to PH albeit in all but name, if not the Opposition coalition being party to ‘illegalities’.
Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim clarified in the media that the Government-PH Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) isn’t a Conditional and Supply Agreement (CSA).
Anwar’s clarification implies that any CSA would have put PH’s seal of approval on the illegitimate government.
Clearly, the MoU would not have materialised if not for the conditional nominations viz. UMNO court cluster’s 14, Perikatan Nasional’s 50 and Gabungan Parti Sarawak’s 18 for Ismail Sabri on Aug 18.
The MoU remains a moral hazard. It ignores the ‘moral high ground’, given deviations and distortions from the straight and narrow.
It can be argued that it is degenerative and morally depraved.
It can be further argued that it does not explain why the opposition coalition continues to publicly flog the ‘dead horse’ MoU, if not to ‘protect’ Ismail Sabri.
Anwar, in a saving grace, has at the same time been publicly insisting that the Prime Minister must face the confidence motion in Parliament.
It is a contradiction when PH calls for reforms, but at the same time publicly takes several steps backwards by entering into a dead-end MoU with the ‘illegitimate’ Ismail Sabri.
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in a telling take in the media, has implied that the MoU reeks of ‘corruption’.
He may not have meant giver-taker situations – I stand corrected on this – but more about ‘making everything one touches to go bad’ viz. propping up a ‘bad’ government.
It has been said often enough that man does not live by bread alone and that principles are important.
Mahathir’s charges can probably be backed up by more than ‘circumstantial’ evidence. Patently, the MoU ignores the ‘elephant in the room’.
Therein lies the spirit of the law which rules against the MoU.
The jury isn’t out on Ismail Sabri, like in his predecessor Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s case, having no legitimacy. There is no consent of the governed.
The people have lost their sovereignty to the 14 Umno MPs dubbed the ‘court cluster’.
Sovereignty was first lost when former Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was not appointed Prime Minister on Feb 24, 2020 when Mahathir abruptly resigned.
Instead, the illegitimate Muhyiddin Yassin was appointed prime minister last year, heading a government which was doomed to fail given the number of government MPs facing various charges in court.
Muhyiddin was forced by the Umno ‘court cluster’ to resign on Aug 16 on ‘dubious’ grounds i.e. the economy heading south in the wake of the pandemic.
It was a ‘chicken and egg’ situation. The Opposition refused to save him from the Umno ‘court cluster’.
Under international law, the international community has responsibility for restoring sovereignty to those who have lost it.
In recent history, it happened in Kuwait, followed by Iraq.
There’s also ‘work in progress’ on restoring sovereignty in Afghanistan, Myanmar, Yemen and Syria, among other countries.
The Taliban seized Kabul by force from the democratically elected and lawfully established Islamic government of Afghanistan in mid August.
The Taliban plan to revive the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which was ousted in two months by American troops in 2001, on the grounds that it harboured anti-rule of law ‘terrorists’, and thereby posed a grave threat to the global security framework.
There are some parallels here, on the changing of the guards between the Taliban in Kabul and Muhyiddin Yassin and Ismail Sabri in Putrajaya.
The difference with the Taliban remains that Malaysia is ostensibly a secular nation-state subscribing to the rule of law, the basis of the Federal Constitution.
Of course, PAS may prefer Taliban rule in Malaysia as well but let’s not go there – that’s another story for another day if PAS runs amok on the rule of law.
By : Joe Fernandez (A longtime Borneo watcher and a regular FocusM contributor) – FOCUS MALAYSIA
*The views expressed are solely of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The Stringer Malaysia.