Najib should disclose who must bear responsibility and take the rap for the constitutional farce and embarrassment to the YDPA with oath-taking of two Ministers and three Deputy Ministers on Thursday unlawful, null and void

In his two-hour address to the first meeting of the new Cabinet of 30 Ministers and 27 deputy ministers at Putra Perdana on Thursday after their swearing-in before the Yang di Pertuan Agong at Istana Negara, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak invoked the spirit of exemplary service to the ministers by giving their best to the people and the country.

Najib said cabinet members must “add value” to their services by engaging the public in public forums, face-to-face sessions and even social or traditional media.

Unfortunately, Najib’s post-13GE Cabinet, which is already the most “unimpressive” of all six Prime Ministers in the nation’s 56-year history, started off with great egregious disservice to the people and nation as the oath-taking of two Deputy Ministers and three Deputy Ministers were of unlawful, null and void.

Najib also failed to “walk the talk” to engage the public by observing thunderous silence in the past three days dodging my expose on Friday that two Ministers, Datuk Paul Low and Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar (both Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department) and three deputy ministers, Waytha Moorthy (PM’s Office) , Dr. J. Loga Bala Mohan (Federal Territories) and Datuk Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah (Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism) have illegally been sworn in when they could not be appointed whether to the post of Minister or Deputy Minister for the simple reason that they are not qualified to hold any Cabinet office without first being sworn in as Senators.

Why didn’t Najib, or his Deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin admit publicly that they had committed a constitutional blunder and caused embarrassment to the Yang di Pertuan Agong as the oath-taking of the two Ministers and three Deputy Ministers concerned were unlawful, null and void, and tender unqualified public apology for such a gross mistake?

Najih should disclose who must bear responsibility and take the rap for such a constitutional farce and blunder causing enormous embarrassment to the Yang di Pertuan Agong, making Malaysia a laughing stock to the diplomatic circuit and the international community?

Such a constitutional blunder had never happened before in the 56-year history of the nation. Why did it happen now? Have the protocols standards declined just like all standards in public life, whether educational, judicial or civil service in the past five decades?

If the new Najib Cabinet is so accident-prone, making an unconstitutional blunder never made in the past half a century, what can Malaysians expect from this Cabinet?

I had in fact expected greater efficiency in the Najib administration, taking immediate action to remedy the constitutional blunder by getting the two Ministers and three Deputy Ministers to be sworn in as Senators on Friday night itself – even if it is a midnight oath-taking.

But the Najib administration is not even capable of swiftly rectifying its errors. Nothing has been done in the past three days to rectify the constitutional blunder, exhibiting a shocking degree of incompetence and inefficiency or just indifference and “tidak-apa” attitude.

With such a background, can anyone expect “great things” from the new Najib Cabinet?

I understand the three deputy ministers would be sworn in as Senators on Tuesday, while the swearing-in of the two Ministers would be in early June.

The three deputy ministers and two Ministers would to repeat their oath-taking as Ministers and deputy ministers before the Yang di Pertuan Agong before they can assume their Ministerial offices – making them swearing twice on the oath of office and the Official Secrets Act!

Otherwise, their legality as Ministers and Deputy Ministers would be immediately open to challenge.

What a farce!

DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah
Media statement by Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 19th May 2013