Guess what today’s news is about again?
Wow, what a surprise…
As we all know, the development of Malaysia’s elections has been a hectic one. It has been full of twists and turns and after what seemed like an eternity, no decision has been made still.
The latest I heard, the King was still choosing the new prime minister. Unfortunately, he still hasn’t made up his mind…
King Meets Up With Politicians
On Tuesday (22 November), the King met up with the leaders of PH and PN.
After the meeting, PH chairman Anwar Ibrahim said, “We have been summoned by the king. His Highness has expressed his desire to form a government inclusive of race, religion, and region.”
“This allows the government to focus on resolving the problems of the Rakyat (people) and to resuscitate our economy. And I, of course, expressed gratitude to His Highness, and said we will do our best, digest the advice and wait for the final decision, which is of course the discretion of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.”
In a separate press conference, the leader of PN, Muhyiddin Yassin, said that the King had asked for both PN and PH to work together to form a unity government. Muhyiddin, however, said that PN had turned down the suggestion.
“We have discussed this beforehand. We will not work with PH,” said Muhyiddin.
After meeting up with the leaders of PH and PN on Tuesday and making no clear progress, the King summoned all 30 Barisan Nasional (BN) politicians who won the election to his palace to meet with him individually today.
Unfortunately, there was no progress with that at all.
King Meets Up with Council of Rulers
With everything that’s been happening so far, we can’t help but scratch our heads and feel slightly confused.
Heck, even the King himself is confused.
As such, the Malaysian King has organised a meeting with his fellow rulers at a special gathering at the national palace on Thursday.
The meeting is slated to begin at 10.30 am and is expected to last at least three hours.
Palace sources have said that the special meeting would be crucial.
Unfolding of events
As of 22 November 2022 2 pm, no alliances have been formed and the parties are at a post-election impasse.
The key kingmaker and once-powerful Barisan Nasional (BN), has decided that it would sit on the fence and not back either bloc.
The party has been split on which coalition to support, with its leader, Ahman Zahid Hamidi, supporting Pakatan Harapan (PH) but key members of the party supporting Perikatan Nasional (PN). Now, it is now choosing to not take sides and remain an opposition.
In other words, no prime minister has been named.
Malaysia turned to its constitutional monarch, Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, to name a new prime minister.
As king, Sultan Abdullah plays a largely ceremonial role in the country’s politics, however, it was not the case this time.
Ironically, the king is the kingmaker.
“Be patient, accept the decision of the people, the decision of the MPs, and the decision of the Agong,” he said. “Be rational, and we have to move on for our beloved country. Allow me to make a decision in the near future.”
How Did This All Begin?
In case you haven’t heard, Malaysia has seen its first-ever hung parliament in its history on 19 November 2022.
As such, the leading coalitions were expected to form alliances and come up with a government by Monday (21 November).
Anwar Ibrahim and Muhyiddin Yassin, with 82 and 79 seats respectively, had to achieve a simple majority of 112 seats in the 222-seat legislature to form a government.
However, on Monday, neither party was able to produce a confirmation, prompting the Malaysian King to extend their deadline by 24 hours to Tuesday (22 November) 2 pm.
In what has already been a rollercoaster of an election, we all thought that that would be the final rule to seal the fate of Malaysia’s parliament.
Unfortunately, we all thought wrong.
After the casting of the votes, while there was a winning party with the most seats, there was no government formed. This was the first time in the nation’s history that there was a hung parliament.
Wait, what? How?
First, let’s understand how the system works.
As we all know, the number of votes is proportional to the number of seats won: more votes equals more seats in parliament. Simple, right?
Next, we have to comprehend how a government is formed.
The government is not formed by the party with the most seats. It is formed by the party with the majority of the seat. In other words, a party has to have not only the most number of seats, but also more than half of the seats, in order to form the government.
In Malaysia’s case, the dominating party, Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition secured 82 seats in the 222-member parliament. It secured the most seats, but not the majority. Simply put, it checks only one of the two boxes required.
So, what now?
In this case, since there is no government formed, we refer to the scenario as having a “hung parliament”.
When this happens, parties can band together and form alliances. Through this, they form larger bodies and their seats are combined. This would allow parties to check the second box in forming a government.
Since there was no government formed in Malaysia’s case, the King decided to step in.
At the time of writing, there still had been no news of the case. The king still hasn’t made up his mind. The government still hasn’t been formed. The prime minister still hasn’t been appointed.
So, for now, all we can do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the show.
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