Can Pak Lah still be PM, without being UMNO Prez?Posted: October 10, 2008
Pak Lah just announced that he is not going to be contesting for the post of UMNO President. That basically means that the seat is Najib’s to lose.
There is one thing though, that I’m not too clear about. I’m not insinuating anything, just merely a question that I invite anyone and everyone to contribute what they think.
Now, it’s been a norm that whoever is UMNO President is and will be Chairman of Barisan Nasional. Well and fine, since UMNO holds the most seats in Parliament (so far there has not been an exception to this), and basically also because UMNO is the largest party within BN.
And also by convention, whoever is the Chairman of Barisan Nasional is and will be Prime Minister of Malaysia. This is basically because PM of Malaysia is someone who so gets the majority confidence from those in Parliament, which of course, in the years that we have had Parliament, BN has held the majority of seats.
Now, my question is this. Since Pak Lah is basically saying that he’s not contesting for UMNO President, does that mean that as and when Najib takes over (there is that slightest bit of chance that it might be someone else, but like I said, it’s Najib’s to lose), he is also going to be BN Chairman, and also PM of Malaysia?
By convention, of course the obvious answer is ‘yes’.
But is it impossible for Pak Lah to still command confidence from the majority of MPs, even though he’s no longer UMNO President? Is it possible for a current PM to continue being PM, even without being the President of the party?
In essence, Pak Lah is not being ‘overthrown’. He is merely saying that he doesn’t want to cause ‘more hurt and damage’ to a fractured UMNO. He is literally giving up his post of UMNO President ‘for the sake of UMNO’. But does that mean that he’s also giving up on being PM of Malaysia?
Can the Agong, in his discretion, decide that Pak Lah still has the support of the majority of MPs in Parliament?
Like I said, I’m not implying anything. I just find this interesting to think about.