Sunday, May 31, 2020

Malaysia's new constitutional crisis -MPs appointed to the boards of GLCs are disqualified from being MPs; dissolution of Parliament now unavoidable

by Ganesh Sahathevan




  Malaysia's King Abdullah Of Pahang cannot avoid  the matter 
of the legitimacy of his Government.
                                     

Malaysia may be at the brink of a constitutional crisis that has arisen as a result of the appointment of a number of ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) Members Of Parliament to the boards of government linked companies (GLCs). The appointments have resulted in the MPs holding offices for profit, thus disqualifying them as MPs.

All but nine of the PN's 112 (or more)  MPs are said to have been appointed to GLC boards, some as chairmen, and there have been demands from at least one component party, UMNO, that all MPs be appointed to such positions.
However, in making these appointments, which are widely regarded as a meanss of consolidating his position, PN leader, the Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, seems to have neglected the convention, if not rule, that an  MP  cannot hold an office of profit.

Holding an office of profit is a reason  for disqualification from holding office as an MP.  Given the numbers involved it is difficult to see how a dissolution of Malaysia's Parliament can be avoided.

First, the convention:

While it is true that Malaysian politics, while rooted in the Westminster system, is often played out according to its own peculiar rules, the  current situation where MPs are also on the boards of GLCs raises obvious conflicts of interest; Parliament and its members are  after all meant  to oversee the administration of GLCs. This can include scrutinising GLC  finances, and their management.
Where required MPs may have to pass or review legislation that regulates the structure , management and business operations of GLCs.  Clearly, all this would not be objectively possible if the MPs are also on the boards of those GLCs.

Then , the rule, as stated in the Malaysian Constitution:

Disqualification for membership of Parliament 

48. (1) (c) Subject to the provisions of this Article, a person is disqualified for being a member of either House of Parliament i f he holds an office of profit;

The matter of disqualification of a member asa result of holding "an office of profit" has not arisen in Malaysia so no cases on the matter have been located. However, the matter has been discussed and debated extensively in other Commonwealth countries. , including the UK, Australia and India.

Importantly, the Malaysian case is somewhat obvious; that of a prime minister appointing MPs loyal to him to positions at companies he controls, and will continue to control for so long as he has their support.

It is difficult to see how the King can now avoid the fact that his Government must be dissolved.

END

21 comments:

  1. Intrinsics of democracy. Checks and balances.

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  2. RULES ARE MEANT TO BE ENFORCED AND FOLLOWED DILIGENTLY.

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    1. Yes but can be bent to suit the top leader's political stance. It has been done numerous times in the past.Mahathir did a lot of that during his time with Umno and PH but nobody dared to question him. So if Mahathir did not do anything wrong (sic) then so is Muhyiddin.

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    2. Rules don't apply to the people in power

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  3. Bakri Musa wbere are you with the Malaysian Constitution?How come the PH/PKR Legal experts including the Speaker unaware of such regulations!Ffs start filing in High Court,onto Court of Appeal thence to Federal Court to get Justice served!

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  4. It is amazing some leaders love for Malaysia to be a democratic nation yet practiced un-democratic measures to remain in power...

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  5. please comment on the following article where some lawyers are interpreting GLC posts as not "office of profit"

    https://focusmalaysia.my/mainstream/glc-posts-not-office-of-profit-say-lawyers/

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    1. Also Article 160 states:

      “Office of profit means any whole time office in any of the public services, and INCLUD#ES..........
      ie Article 160 is not EXCLUSIVE , it allows for a whole range of situations. This is to be expected, for the drafters of the Constitution of what was and remains a developing country are likely to have foreseen that the business of government would get more complex as the country developed, which of course it has.

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  6. I dealt with the matter of definition in these paras:


    The matter of disqualification of a member asa result of holding "an office of profit" has not arisen in Malaysia so no cases on the matter have been located. However, the matter has been discussed and debated extensively in other Commonwealth countries. , including the UK, Australia and India.

    Importantly, the Malaysian case is somewhat obvious; that of a prime minister appointing MPs loyal to him to positions at companies he controls, and will continue to control for so long as he has their support.

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  7. What if all these MPs fearing the outcome, now resign from their post in the GLCs, would that mean that by choosing to resign, they maintain their position as MPs

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  8. Should not make a difference. Deed is done. However, even if wrong, imagine the loss of political support.

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  9. All but nine of the "Pakatans" 112 (or more) MPs.....

    "Pakatan" leader, the Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin,....

    you mean Perikatan not Pakatan?

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  10. Article 160 seems exclusive to me. In addition to the public services, it lists the posts included in “office of profit”, including final item (d) that allows Parliament to declare any other post as office of profit. Without such a declaration, the said lawyers’ position that GLC posts are not office of profit seems correct. You cannot extend “office of profit” to include any other remunerative post. If the Federal Constitution wanted to allow such extension, it would have used clear and explicit language, as for members of the Election Commission in Article 114(4)(b): “engages in any paid office or employment outside the duties of his office.”

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    Replies
    1. Also , intersting profile you have :https://www.blogger.com/profile/17563738962799459333

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  11. Interesting interpretation, don't think its correct.

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  12. https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=3198848583498905&id=100001213849444

    Isu Lantikan Ahli Parlimen Perikatan Nasional Sebagai Pengerusi GLC

    1.Terkini ,1 artikel drpd 1 blog

    http://realpolitikasia.blogspot.com/2020/05/malaysias-new-constitutional-crisis-mps.html ,

    telah mempersoalkan status perundangan berkenaan dgn perlantikan beberapa ahli parlimen perikatan nasional sbg pengerusi syarikat glc ,

    Penulis artikel tersebut telah menyandarkan ,perkara 48.1.c perlembagaan persekutuan sebagai sandaran hujahan nya ,

    Perkara 48

    Kehilangan kelayakan menjadi ahli parlimen ,

    1.Tertakluk kpd peruntukan perkara ini ,seseorang hilang kelayakan untuk menjadi ahli mana mana satu majlis parlimen jika ,

    c.dia memegang sesuatu jawatan berpendapatan ,

    Penulis artikel itu menggambarkan , bahawa YDP Agong akan didlm situasi kesukaran utk mengelak drpd pembubaran parlimen ,

    Gambaran dan unjuran yang dibuat oleh artikel tersebut tidak tepat dan tidak lengkap hujahannya ,

    2.Bagi mentafsir maksud perkara 48.1.c ,

    iaitu ,

    ahli parlimen akan kehilangan kelayakan sebagai ahli parlimen ,

    ' dia memegang jawatan pendapatan '

    maka kita harus merujuk kpd maksud ' jawatan berpendapatan ' di dlm perlembagaan ,

    kita harus merujuk kpd perkara 160.2 perlembagaan persekutuan

    Tafsiran itu bermaksud ,

    ertinya ,

    a.apa apa jawatan sepenuh masa dalam mana mana perkhidmatan awam ,

    kata kunci nya ialah ,

    ' sepenuh masa ' dan ' dalam mana mana perkhidmatan awam ' ,

    2 elemen ini amat jelas akan maksudnya ,

    b.apa apa jawatan lain yang tidak dinyatakan dalam fasal 3 perkara 132 yg boleh ditetapkan sebagai jawatan berpendapatan melalui akta parlimen ,

    perkara 132 adalah berkenaan dgn senarai perkhidmatan perkhidmatan awam ,

    didalam perkara 132 ini , ianya TIDAK MENYENARAIKAN ,jawatan didlm glc adalah 1 jwtn perkhidmatan awam ,

    3.Maka telah jelas ,

    a.Jawatan Pengerusi GLC bukanlah 1 jawatan sepenuh masa ,

    ia kerana , jawatan tersebut hanya penjawatan separuh masa dgn penglibatan dan aktiviti nya hanya sekali setiap suku tahunan atau 4 kali setahun ,

    b.jawatan pengerusi glc bukan lah 1 penjawatan didalam katorgeri ' perkhidmatan awam ' ,

    kerana jawatan ini tidak disenaraikan sebagai 1 jawatan perkhidmatan awam di dlm perkara 132 perlembagaan ,

    c.jawatan pengerusi glc secara amnya bukan 1 jawatan bertaraf eksekutif ,

    non executive chairman ,

    1 jwtn yg tdk ada kuasa utk membuat apa jua keputusan kecuali utk memulakan dan menangguhkan mesyuarat dan mengumumkan apa jua perkara berkaitan syarikat dan fungsinya hanya terhad sbg pengerusi mesyuarat shj ,

    d.telah menjadi rahsia umum dan amalan tradisi bahawa penjawatan sebagai pengerusi non eksekutif ini ialah tanpa pendapatan atau bergaji ,

    4.Fakta fakta diatas telah membuktikan , jawatan pengerusi non eksekutif glc bukanlah 1 jawatan berpendapatan atau jawatan sepenuh masa dan juga bukan 1 jawatan disenaraikan sebagai jawatan didlm perkhidmatan awam ,

    Faktor ini telah melepaskan bebanan kehendak undg undg perkara 48.1.c perlembagaan persekutuan ,

    Maka itu ,

    Perlantikan Ahli Parlimen Sebagai Pengerusi GLC tidak mengugat atau menjejaskan kelayakan mereka sebagai ahli parlimen ,

    5.Telah jelas , unjuran artikel tersebut tidak lengkap dan jauh menyimpang drpd maksud sebenar perkara 48.1.c perlembagaan persekutuan ,

    Amat dikesalkan apabila perkara spt ini dijadikan pertaruhan politik ,lebih malang apabila tafsiran artikel tersebut keatas perkara 48.1.c perlembagaan telah jauh menyimpang dan telah mengelirukan orang ramai ,

    tmx

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    Replies
    1. Wishful...would not call this legal analysis.And again anonymous.

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  13. They get salaries or allowances or stipends. They don't get a share of the profit

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    Replies
    1. Wrong.Look at the links to see how the phrase has been defined.

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  14. http://www.perakcorp.com.my/page/182/Board-of-Directors/

    ReplyDelete