Aliran is deeply concerned over the events unfolding since the release of the official general election results.
The Pakatan Harapan coalition secured 82 seats, the most number of seats (albeit short of a simple majority of 112 seats), followed by Perikatan Nasional with 73 seats, with all the others trailing far behind.
However, there is now a flurry of activity among the different coalitions and political parties to quickly cobble together new partnerships to form the next government led by a new prime minister.
Under Article 43(2) of the Federal Constitution, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong has the duty to appoint as prime minister the member of the lower house (Dewan Rakyat) who, in his judgement, is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the lower house.
While the Agong may use his discretion in carrying out this duty, that discretion is not absolute – as a constitutional monarch, he is still bound by constitutional conventions within the parliamentary system of government.
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Going by convention and democratic practice, Pakatan Harapan, being the coalition that won the highest number of seats, should be the first to be given consideration by the Agong for its leader, Anwar Ibrahim, to appointed as prime minister.
This convention and democratic practice must be honoured and respected in the interest of parliamentary democracy.
It is then up to the newly appointed prime minister to prove his ability to command the confidence of the majority of members of the lower house, preferably through a vote of confidence in Parliament, or as now seems to be the practice, through the political process of negotiations between the leaders of the different political parties, where support is indicated through statutory declarations.
Aliran fervently hopes that this political process will be carried out in an ethical and mature manner by all parties involved.
We hope the Agong will adhere to convention and give Anwar the first bite of the cherry in trying to form the next government.
It is only if Anwar is unable to secure majority support among the parties after a reasonable time for negotiations with potential partners that the next highest coalition, PN, should be given a chance to form the government.
We are confident that the Agong will remain above politics and exercise his judgement wisely in the interest of the people and the country.
Aliran executive committee
21 November 2022