How do you solve a problem like Law Minister Takiyuddin Hassan and his parliamentary shenanigans?
If you’re the Agong, the answer would be to hand down a powerful, thundering, resounding — but sadly, figurative — slap in the form of a very regal, very blunt PDF document.
We’re referring to a royal move no one saw coming (though glorious leader Muhyiddin Yassin, Taki and the rest of his Perikatan Nasional crew really should have), in which the palace released a thunderbolt of a statement onto the WWW on Thursday.
In short, His Majesty gave Taki-“tipu”-yuddin a right, good scolding over his claims the gomen acted constitutionally in revoking emergency ordinances (EOs), despite not putting them up for scrutiny and debate in Parliament.
In response, Messrs Mahiaddin, Taki & Co insisted they’d behaved like right, proper gentlemen and that the King, sorry not sorry, kinda HAS to take their advice (we paraphrase)!
Seriously, they might as well have said: “Yeah, ok, whatevs dude.” Talk about no manners!
Don’t get us wrong. It’s good the ordinances are gone. Many of them (6 in total) were mucho problematic, downright scary even. Like clamping down on d̶i̶s̶s̶e̶n̶t̶ “fake news”, increasing Covid-19 SOP fines over 900% and allowing gomen unquestioned spending — all under the guise of ‘fighting Covid’.
BUT (we like big buts and we cannot lie!) the point of contention is the dodgy AF manner in which it was done, the crap tonne of questions it raises, and the lack of answers.
Yet, as embarrassing as it must’ve been to be so publicly smacked down, it doesn’t seem like it’s had any real effect on our Executive. Then again, was anyone naïve enough to think the PM and his Cabinet would actually entertain the flurry of calls to step down?
But, we’ve barely finished the first drama and already there are rumours of another blunt letter aimed from the palace in PM Moo’s direction.
If it’s real and if Moo got it, he’s keeping mum about it. Instead, he and Taki (cheeky buggers!) spent their Friday posting Happy Birthday messages to the Agong, behaving like the love notes of the past day didn’t happen.
So the golden question: who’s right, who’s wrong? Team Raja or Team Gomen? Tbh, we don’t know. And reading all the varying interpretations of the Constitution by folks far smarter than us (like here, here, here, here and here), we suspect no one really does either.
Basically, our Constitution is frustratingly vague about a lot of things, which is what’s led us to the quagmire we’re in now and why everybody and their poodle has a different opinion on the matter.
Meanwhile, politicos from all sides are milking the chaos. Umno fellas are talking about forming an “interim gomen” (allegedly! allegedly!), while Pakatan Harapan is doing its best-est to fan the flames that are threatening to charbroil Moo.
But amidst all their power grabbing and brownie point-scoring, our politikus need to remember their actions may have huge long-term repercussions: the precedent they help set could give whichever team they’re siding with far more power than is healthy in our delicately balanced democratic constitutional monarchy.
So, be careful what you wish for YBs.