Arms deals inked by ‘expired PM’ may not be valid

by Koh Jun Lin
Mar 30, 2013

Pakatan Rakyat would review all contracts signed by the federal government after March 8 and possibly cancel them if they are found to be unfair or involved abuse of power, if the coalition takes over Putrajaya, said DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.

He said in his speech at Seputeh today that the government has no business signing these deals five years after the last general election; they should be considered interim agreements subject to confirmation by the succeeding government.

Highlighting the RM4.2 billion arms deal signed in Langkawi two days ago, he said: “We will not be bound by these agreements because these are done after March 8, when the prime minister has lost legitimacy and credibility, and is only an ‘expired’ prime minister.

“He cannot sign these agreements,” he said, adding that the federal government should declare every deal it inked since that date because it should not have endorsed them.

Lim was speaking at the official launching of DAP’s Seputeh election operations centre, which occupies a shoplot that local MP Teresa Kok said was let out to the party for free by a supporter.

It’s about legitimacy, not legality

When pointed out at a press conference later that the government is legally in power for five years since the parliament’s first sitting was on April 28, 2008, he dismissed it, saying that this was a question of legitimacy, not legality.

“(It is about) political morality,” he said, when pressed by reporters to quote relevant legislation to back his claims that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is an illegitimate occupant of the office.

He pointed that past prime ministers have called for polls soon after taking over from their predecessors, but Najib has not sought a fresh mandate since replacing Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2009.

This also means that current state governments that have not dissolved automatically are still legitimate, he said when asked, because they still enjoy the 2008 general election mandate.

Under Article 42(2)(a) of the federal constitution the prime minister is appointed by the Agong from among the members of parliament, whom he thinks is “likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that House (of Representatives)”.

Similar provisions are also found in state constitutions in relation to the formation of state governments, but with the governor or sultan appointing them in place of the Agong.

  1. #1 by yhsiew on Saturday, 30 March 2013 - 7:12 pm

    An expired Prime Minister should not take the rakyat for a ride.

  2. #2 by bruno on Saturday, 30 March 2013 - 10:09 pm

    Expired goods are expired goods.The reason they are called expired goods is because they have outlived their shelf lives.

  3. #3 by chengho on Saturday, 30 March 2013 - 10:17 pm

    get advice from constitutional lawyer , don’t ask Ambiga

  4. #4 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 31 March 2013 - 12:53 am

    That the government in a transitional caretaker period should avoid entering major defence contracts is not based on constitutional provision but Westminster convention and tradition. In the first place does the Govt admit its now a caretaker govt, or the PM, that he is a caretaker PM? They’d ask what are you talking about? TDM would be first to say, “Don’t follow the West”. The argument seems to be though UK bequeathed the Westminster parliamentary system, we have since followed our own trajectory: proof the the innumerable amendments to the Constitution since the Reid Commission’s draft in 1957. UK, Australia, New Zealand or Canada have shared beliefs from mother country cos they are white but we are not. Papua New Guinea Pakistan Swazilan all supposedly inherited and practise variations on the theme of the Westminster system but do they follow the ‘Kwei Lo’ in this “Westminster caret taker convention”? Against the backdrop of Bersih’s claim of electoral irregularities, Project IC, political violence of late against opposition campaigners with no official action taken against perpetrators, are we (from realistic view point) respecting Westminster’s traditions or nearer that of Zimbabwe?

  5. #5 by Jeffrey on Sunday, 31 March 2013 - 1:10 am

    So at best the effect of LKS’s highlighting caretaker conventions is that is a form of “notice” directed to third parties negotiating and dealing with the incumbent govt than the incumbent govt itself that does not acknowledge nor has not acknowledged it is bound by such a convention. That’s why it just signed the arms deal. Esp so when the antics of Sultan Kiram III in Sabah provides the pretext and justification for last minute deals! The significance of Kit’s notice is to put third parties to notice that they enter into agreements with our care taker government at their own risk! Ordinarily the credibility of a transaction with a country’s govt is or ought to be beyond doubt simply because successive govt should abide by sovereign commitments made by preceding ones but the moral and reputational imperative to do so ceases when third parties are put to notice – if not by govt web site then by blog through the Net- that our parliamentary system is still Westminster based with care taker conventions which upon being notified, they should be aware that they alone bear the risk if the contract is repudiated by another government due to electoral change. From another angle, it also explains why those in power with vested interest in any such major govt contracts entered into can ill afford a loss of the ruling coalition of the GE. Whatever happens they can neither afford nor allow a change of govt.

  6. #6 by monsterball on Sunday, 31 March 2013 - 1:52 am

    Compensation laws..criminal law….divorce laws…all are hard to master.
    The sacred Constitution laws….easy to understand…and have been tampered by the Dictator.
    Chengho is smart but childish.

  7. #7 by Noble House on Sunday, 31 March 2013 - 3:53 am

    The first state assembly that met was in Negri Sembilan on March 26, 2008. The state constitution has a similar 60-day provision under Article 56(4) of the second part of the state constitution. If the BN wishes to have the same polling day for federal and state elections, the last day would be May 26, 2013, and not June 28 when Parliament is automatically dissolved. In other words, if the general election is not held for the Negri Sembilan state assembly by May 26, its state government will be remaining in office illegally.

    The incumbent PM’s is privileged with the timing of elections to his advantage, a privilege most invariably exploited by leaders of other Westminster style parliamentary democracies in the Commonwealth. While it may be argued that UMNO/BN remaining in office to June 28, 2013 is constitutional and legal, but its political legitimacy and moral authority are in question. Only one answer can be inferred as to why has Najib not utilised the privilege attached to his office by advising the Agong to dissolve Parliament before the expiry of his term, to be followed by GE13: He is running scared of defeat.

    Does any of those UMNO knuckleheads understands what morality, legitimacy, or legality is all about?

  8. #8 by HJ Angus on Sunday, 31 March 2013 - 7:21 am

    Agreements made at arm’s length are usually fair to both buyer and seller.
    Otherwise either side can resort to the courts especially if bribes have been made.
    In Europe corruption by companies are brought to the courts even if complaints are made by NGOs as in the Scorpene case. Maybe governments may carry more clout?

  9. #9 by pulau_sibu on Sunday, 31 March 2013 - 7:38 am

    He refused to quit. That is all I can said.
    The prime minister is ruling under life support machine. Do you think he can continue to rule the country?

  10. #10 by yhsiew on Sunday, 31 March 2013 - 8:54 am

    #8 Only the recalcitrant will opt for automatic dissolution of parliament.

  11. #11 by Bigjoe on Sunday, 31 March 2013 - 10:58 am

    What is really “expired” PMship is after 4 years of so called “unprecedented” “transformation”, after setting unprecedented RECKLESSNESS in handouts and vote-buying that is CERTAIN to ruin us, he ultimaely turn to religion and more vote-buying playing the Malays, some Indians and native Sabahan and Sarawakians are TOO STUPID card to tell the difference..

    All over the place, I see UMNO/BN putting up their banners in the LOWEST income group first and foremost, their determination to dig deeper in the lowest denominator possible in this GE..

    Najib kata biar tunjuk siapa punya bumi ini, Betul Rakyat mesti tunjuk bumi ini Rakyat yang punya, bukan UMNO dan terutamanya bukan pengMahathirisma yang punya.

  12. #12 by cseng on Sunday, 31 March 2013 - 11:42 am

    Malu, malu and malu!

    How could any human with any slight of dignity allow himself to suffer such humiliation, it is born penetrating, kiasu, kiasi, expired, inlegitimate……

    On this capability, i think he is the best in the world, leading the world class standard….

  13. #13 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Sunday, 31 March 2013 - 3:06 pm

    Najib ould be (to borrow Tun Daim’s famous words) past the “Use By” date.

    Sudah busok-lah.
    Fit for the garbage dump.
    How can an ‘expired PM’ fit to be discarded with rotten refuse sign an arms ddeal worth billions?

    Hello, ada Scorpene punya commission tak?

  14. #14 by ENDANGERED HORNBILL on Sunday, 31 March 2013 - 3:15 pm

    Najib would be (to borrow Tun Daim’s famous words) past the “Use By” date.


    Expired goods are not recyclable. I think Daim would agree. What about Tun Mahathir?

    Would Mahathir agree that this ‘expired PM’ is as bad as any canned ‘Expired By:’ product and, to put it bluntly in typical Mahathir sarcasm, ‘apa lagi; dah rosak buang saja. Tak guna simpan yang busuk. Apa nak cerita panjang. Ini jelas saje ‘

  15. #15 by monsterball on Monday, 1 April 2013 - 8:35 am

    It’s hot air announcement by Najib…bullshitting Malaysians for votes.

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