Dissolution of Parliament: Caretaker govt to administer

KUALA LUMPUR • The country will be governed by an interim government and all government matters will be carried out by the government after Parliament is dissolved today.

A constitutional expert who is also a Law and Policy lecturer of Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM), Associate Professor Dr Muhammad Fathi Yusof said based on Constitutional Convention, the caretaker government will run the country starting from the dissolution of Parliament until the establishment of a new government after the general election (GE) is held.

He said no formality is required for the formation of the interim government because it was formed on its own once Parliament is dissolved.

“In Malaysia, we don’t have written guidelines. But we should adopt the practice of constitutional conventions in line with the parliamentary democratic system with certain restrictions,” he told Bernama here.

The question about when Parliament will be dissolved to make way for GE15 was answered today after Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri announced the dissolution of Parliament effective today.

Muhammad Fathi said among the limitations included restrictions on the powers of the executive whose role is limited to basic administrative roles to ensure the smooth running of government affairs.

Following that, he said the Prime Minister and cabinet members should not be allowed to make major policy decisions that may lead to a new government, make appointments to important positions or decide on contracts or commitments that have a major impact.

In addition, Muhammad Fathi said the interim government is not allowed to use government funds and machinery for political advertisements during the period of campaigning in the general election.

National Professors Council member Prof Dr Nik Ahmad Kamal Nik Mahmood, the main principle of the federal government is that no expenditure can be made if it is not approved by Parliament.

The former law lecturer at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (UIAM) is of the view that the Prime Minister who heads the interim government should also not appoint assistants because the government can run with the support and assistance of civil servants under the Chief Secretary to the Government.

Asked about the duration of the interim government’s mandate, Nik Ahmad Kamal said there is a view that says the interim government is still functioning as long as no new government is appointed while other opinion says that the interim government ends on polling day.

“I am more inclined to the first opinion because the government machinery should continue to function during election day and after that until a new government is appointed with the Prime Minister sworn in,” he said. — Bernama