He is probably an outsider. But what Emeritus Prof. Clive S Kessler said here is worth not repeating, unless we want to jeopardize the nation:
In Australia in 1975, the Governor-General Sir John Kerr chose to act similarly in a similar situation. He insisted on exercising his personal discretion that, as he understood the situation, his constitutional “reserve powers” entitled him to wield. He dismissed a government that arguably still had a majority within the people’s elected house of parliament.
The result was unfortunate, to say the least. It poisoned Australian politics, public culture, and (dare one say it?) the very soul of the nation for a generation. Its effects have not fully worn off away even now.
Malaysia could now be at risk of a similar outcome. I hope not but fear so. For that reason, a test in the state assembly or snap polls would have been preferable whatever the costs and however messy the shorter-term practicalities of maintaining public order. As a matter of long-term public and national policy, that would have been better than a measure that substituted something else for the verdict of popular will.
In Australia it is now widely recognized that, if the government was not to have fallen on its own, it should not have been peremptorily dismissed. And if it was doomed to fall, as well it may have been, it should have been allowed to do so in the natural course of democratic events, through democratic processes. The impatience to force the issue may have saved a few days or weeks of delay but it plagued the nation with its consequences for thirty years until the matter began to be put decently to rest.
It was not a good deal. Not for anyone. Not for the ousted Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Not for his successor Malcolm Fraser who never overcame the “legitimacy deficit” that his manner of coming to power caused him. Not for Kerr who went into exile and died amidst widespread ignominy and contempt. Not for Australia, which was made to live for a generation under the shadow of what was widely seen as a quasi- or pseudo-constitutionalist coup against constitutionalism. And not, therefore, for constitutional principle and processes itself.
That is an outcome and fate that Malaysia, I hope, will avoid. The lesson is there already to be learnt from others. The same price need not be paid again.
Malaysia these days has other urgent needs and priorities. It does not need, now to be paid exorbitantly on its own account, this distraction or these afflictions. The lesson is available free, there to be taken “ready off-the-shelf”, from Canberra.
In a related development the new Perak executive council (exco) line-up would be announced tomorrow, said Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, reports Bernama.
Zambry said he had met Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi over the new line-up.
However, he declined to reveal the names which will be announced at the swearing-in of the exco members at Istana Iskandariah in Kuala Kangsar.
Asked whether the exco would comprise old and new faces, he said: Definitely, because we want to create a balance, while the factors considered include their capabilities as the people wish to see some change…and definitely there will be a woman.”